PDP Ministers Skip Jan 26 Function In Valley

Srinagar: In an unprecedented move, all Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ministers Thursday skipped the January 26 functions in Kashmir valley.

Unlike in Jammu region where the BJP ministers unfurled the tri-colour at all district headquarters, their PDP colleagues were conspicuous by their absence here in the Valley.

This was for the first time that PDP ministers could have attended the January 26 functions in the third year of their government but they preferred to stay away. However, the ruling lawmakers blame bad weather for the non-presence of their ministers in the Valley.

While Governor N N Vohra unfurled tri-colour at M A Stadium Jammu, deputy CM was chief guest at Udhampur while other BJP ministers unfurled tri-colour in other Jammu districts. The lone PDP minister who unfurled the flag was Chaudhary Zulfikar Ali in Rajouri. It was divisional commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, who took salute at the march past in Srinagar’s Bakshi stadium whileas deputy commissioners of respective districts unfurled tri-colour.

“Every minister was ready to go but weather played spoilspot,” PDP’s Javaid Mustafa Mir told the Kashmir Observer, “they couldn’t fly to Valley in advance because of their pre-occupations at the J&K Legislature.”

Similar views were shared by two other PDP MLAs including Altaf Bukhari and Ab Majeed Padder. The three lawmakers held ministerial portfolios in late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government.

However, the opposition unionist parties did not buy their argument.

“The chief minister Mehbooba Mufti was in Srinagar on 24 January and the Srinagar-Jammu highway too was open,” State Congress President G A Mir told the Kashmir Observer. “Actually, the PDP ministers are afraid of people in the Valley that is why  they did not attend any January 26 function here.”

According to Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal of the National Conference, “people are angry with PDP as they ditched the voters who were promised to keep right wing BJP away from Kashmir.”

“People are sensitive and they know how PDP used facade of Agenda of Alliance (AoA) to sit in the chair,” he added.

Chief spokesperson of the government Naeem Akhtar chose not to respond to the query. He dropped the phone after hearing that the call was from the Kashmir Observer.

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