Now PDP’s Shia face says not happy with portfolios
Mehbooba Mufti, Imran Ansari during Kashmir floods. (Source: PDP blog)
After “unhappy” Peoples Conference leader Sajjad Lone avoided taking charge of the “insignificant” Science and Technology and Animal Husbandry Ministry, the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in Jammu and Kashmir is faced with another “serious crisis” that could have far-reaching implications for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
PDP’s Shia face and family of former party stalwart and Shia leader Moulana Iftikhar Hussain Ansari has publicly shown displeasure for what it calls “humiliating treatment” during the government formation. Although Ansari’s son and PDP legislator from Pattan, Imran Raza Ansari, was inducted in the Mufti cabinet, he is not happy with the portfolios.
Imran got Information Technology (IT), Technical Education and Sports and Youth Services. “I have pressure from the grassroots. Our community came out to support PDP in all its strength only because they felt completely ignored by the previous governments and saw a ray of hope in this new dispensation. When Mufti sahib, Mehbooba ji and Baig sahib (Muzzafar Hussain Baig) came to Pattan, they promised to our community that we will be given due respect once the party forms the government.
That promise set the trend and our community came out in droves to vote for PDP across Kashmir,” he said. “We are in politics because we have to look after the interests of our people who have been completely ignored till now. Our community is upset. They don’t think the assignment that I have been given is of any significance. What answer would I give them now?”
Imran said he joined office despite reservations from his supporters. “I have immense respect for Mufti sahib. I am not a rebel and I wouldn’t revolt against my party,” he said. “But the party leadership can’t ignore the expectations of our support base that has given strength to the party. They have to understand that it isn’t a serious concern for us — our family — alone, it is an issue for our party PDP as well.”
Imran’s uncle and PDP’s legislator from Zadibal constituency Abid Hussain Ansari said, “We did everything that was possible to help PDP win in the elections. Our supporters are spread across Kashmir and everywhere they stood by our family and came out to vote for PDP on our call.”
“Take the case of Sonwar (constituency), they (PDP leadership) say that PDP candidate defeated a sitting Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah).
Please check how did he win? He won because our supporters came out in droves to vote for him. These were the people who are associated with our family. Look at Hazratbal constituency, our supporters were instrumental there too. It is same in Batamaloo, Chadoora, Sangrama and Tangmarg constituencies,” he said.
“Go and analyse the vote pattern in Sumbhal constituency, you will see our 15,000 votes have all gone to PDP candidate there. If the PDP candidate couldn’t get votes from his own mohallah, how would we help? He lost because he could get only a few hundred votes in his own Nesbal village. In Budgam, the PDP candidate lost by 500 votes and if you see, how did that contest become so close, it was because of the influence of our family,” he said. “This is a coalition government and if tomorrow this alliance doesn’t work and we have to go back to people, what will we tell our community. They feel humiliated. They tell us we got one minister and he too has an insignificant portfolio.”
Abid questioned the criteria set by PDP to select the ministers. “I am asking what is the criterion? Imran won by the highest margin. He victory margin was even bigger than the chief minister himself. And you are giving him an insignificant ministry. What is the logic? Then Imran represents Baramulla district in the cabinet. Mufti sahib had said that PDP would provide enough representation to Srinagar city. Where is that? Why would our community get one minister with such an insignificant ministry. Whatever we had in terms of support and resources we put that in your kitty and you don’t reciprocate, that isn’t done,” he said.
“Few days ago, PDP issued a statement saying that Mufti sahib met with every legislator of the party to take their views on the alliance with BJP and the subsequent government formation. That is a lie. Nobody talked to me. I can talk about myself. It is like all the decisions are taken by the SHO (Station House Officer) and we are constables who have to listen to the orders and go out with the stick to do work. We only have to follow,” he said.
When contacted, PDP chief spokesman and Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said, “It is a misunderstanding that Information Technology and Technical Education are insignificant portfolios.” He said these are important ministries. “Government of India has carved out a separate ministry for Skill Development. IT and Technical Education is a futuristic ministry. We have several programmes in the Common Minimum Programme regarding this,” he said. “Our state is an ideal place for IT. We are focused on skill development and technical education. That is going to be an important focus area of our government.”
Source:: Indian Express