Lacking ‘credible’ faces, Congress in dilemma

CABINET RESHUFFLE

JAVAID MALIK

Srinagar, Oct 31: As speculations about an imminent reshuffle of the council of ministers in Jammu and Kashmir are rife, state Congress is in dilemma over filling up of its vacancies due to dearth of “credible men” in the party.
Since the inception of NC-Congress coalition in 2009, two Congress ministers GM Saroori and Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed had to be divested of their portfolios following alleged misuse of official position by the duo. Saroori’s Roads and Buildings portfolio and Peerzada’s Education Ministry are lying with the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for quite a long time now.
Members of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on many occasions have raised the issue of Congress portfolios lying with the Chief Minister but till date the party high command has not paid any heed to their gnarls. “National Conference is holding two key ministries which otherwise should have been with Congress but the fact is that there is dearth of credible faces in the state Congress that is why the party high command is not very keen on getting back the ministries, ” said a political observer wishing anonymity.
Recollecting the happenings at a recent function held at Verinag in south Kashmir, the politician said: “Senior Congress leader and Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora announced that MLA Dooru Ghulam Ahmed Mir (sex scandal accused recently acquitted by a Chandigarh court) would be inducted as a minister in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.”
“There are very few options available with Congress. Either they have to opt for tainted men or they have to be content with what they have,” the politician said. “Court has acquitted Mir but the sex scandal tag is still attached to him. Congress cannot take masses for granted and it needs to bear in mind that memory of people is not that short-lived.”
The recent war of words between two senior Congress leaders PHE Minister Taj Mohiuddin and former minister Abdul Gani Vakil has proved that “all is not well” within the party. Vakil had alleged that Taj is involved “neck deep in corruption” and a probe should be ordered against him. Taj shot back saying, “Vakil is a liar” and filed a defamation case against him.
Interestingly the JKPCC chief Prof Saifuddin Soz, who always claims that no government in the state can be formed without the support of Congress, sat on the fence and watched the “Taj-Vakil fight” as a spectator. His only comment was: “Party has taken note of it and the matter would be looked into.”
Congress has been in power since 2002 despite that its leaders keep on lamenting that Congress workers “are not getting their due share.” Brewing resentment at the grassroots level has added fuel to the fire. “Congress ministers not paying much attention towards problems, and issues raised by their workers has created a void between the two,” an analyst said. “Congress ministers are holding plum ministries, including Tourism, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Family Welfare, Revenue Relief and Rehabilitation, and many more. It is amazing that despite Congress holding 70 percent ministries their workers are unhappy and feel neglected.”
Recollecting the tenure of the former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, a Congress worker said, “He always led from the front and ensured that men around him, especially those belonging to his party do not indulge in any misdoings.”
State Congress is likely to face an uphill task in 2014 assembly elections in the state but before that party leadership has to thoroughly debate about whom to induct and who to drop from Omar Abdullah’s cabinet, if Omar makes up his mind to reshuffle the pack.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 1 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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