Minister Altaf Bukhari says fellow colleagues making irresponsible statements, trying to create chaos, confusion
Indicating it is not going to take everything hands down, the Peoples Democratic Party Monday publicly slammed its coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party for “making irresponsible statements to create confusion among people, especially the flood victims of Kashmir.”
This is for the first time that the PDP openly came out to slam Deputy Chief Minister DrNirmal Singh and other “fellow colleagues” over several key issues including establishment of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Kashmir and rehabilitation of flood victims.
In a hard-hitting statement slamming Singh, senior PDP leader and Minister for Public Works Syed AltafBukhari remarked that his fellow colleagues are “bogged down on issues of derived importance (sic)” and “making irresponsible statements.”
The PDP minister’s snub comes after a series of statements from BJP ministers ran contrary to what the two parties had “agreed to” in the “Alliance of Agenda.”
While senior BJP leader and Minister of State in the Union Cabinet DrJitendra Singh keeps repeating the party’s stand on Article 370—which otherwise has been put on backburner in the Alliance Agenda—the remark from Deputy Chief Minister DrNirmal Singh that Rs 3600 crore are sufficient for rehabilitation of flood victims has drawn angry reaction from the PDP.
Criticizing Singh’s remarks, AltafBukhari said BJP ministers are bogged down on issues of derived importance (sic) and should not cry hoarse on “issues of secondary importance.”
Bukhari, according to an official spokesman, expressed his deep disappointment on “trivializing” establishment of AIIMS, IITS and IIMCs in the State.
“Despite huge ideological and political differences, PDP joined hands with BJP to give Jammu and Kashmir a new direction under the leadership of Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed whose vision is to bring people closer by bridging regional gaps within the State. Instead of adhering to Mufti’s vision of togetherness and equal opportunities, it seems our fellow colleagues are bogged down on issues of derived importance. I would request my colleagues in the cabinet to stick to and implement Mufti’s agenda of peace, political stability and development rather than crying hoarse on issues of secondary importance,” he said on the sidelines of a meeting here.
Bukhari said Mufti’s forging an alliance with BJP was “not to seek power but to respect the fractured verdict that provided both the parties an opportunity to script history by addressing trust deficit between the people of regions and sub regions in the State.”
“I would request my colleagues that instead of propagating their divergent opinions to prop up chaos and confusion, they should contribute in implementation of Mufti’s inclusive agenda of growth and prosperity,” Bukhari remarked.
On a question seeking clarification about Deputy Chief Minister DrNirmal Singh’s latest interview that Rs 3600 crore was sufficient for rehabilitation of flood victims in Kashmir, Bukhari said the remarks of the Deputy Chief Minister “have shocked me not only as a Minister but in capacity of a flood victim who has personally witnessed the scale of devastation during September floods.”
“Such a statement is rubbing salt into the wounds of flood victims, including myself,” Bukhari told Greater Kashmir this evening.
He said even the World Bank has put the estimate of losses to infrastructure alone five times more than what the Deputy Chief Minister says.
“Even Rs 44000 crore financial package proposed by the previous government is in no way sufficient to compensate the losses suffered by people during the devastating deluge in September 2014. DrNirmal’s figures have shocked me. I don’t know where from he got these superficial statistics,” Bukhari said, advising his cabinet colleagues to “desist from making irresponsible statements that create confusion among flood victims of Kashmir.”
He said the Chief Minister’s endeavour is to “address the legacy of loss which is coupled with a sense of alienation due to decades of neglect, lack of development, empowerment and employment in all the three regions of the State.”
“Our Common Minimum Programme that aims at good governance and building bridges to narrow down the gaps should have been our guiding principle. I would humbly request my cabinet colleagues again to refrain from creating a precarious situation that will lead us nowhere,” Bukhari added.
Candid admission: ‘Govt failed in Srinagar so far’
Minister for Works, Syed AltafBukhari, Monday candidly admitted that his government has failed on development front in Srinagar.
Asked about the state government’s latest initiatives aimed at decongesting Srinagar city from frequent traffic snarls, Bukhari—in an official statement—said he is dismayed over the way traffic is being handled in Srinagar.
“I don’t have any qualms to admit that so far we have failed to give Srinagar a requisite respite from frequent traffic jams. Similarly on other developmental issues in Srinagar, I agree no significant breakthrough has been achieved so far,” the minister observed.
‘Kashmir deserves AIIMS’
Amid controversy over establishment of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Kashmir, senior PDP leader and Minister for Works Syed Altaf Bukhari Monday said the Institute should be set up in the Valley.
He said while his government looks at J&K as a “single unit”, “going by what Jammu has got so far, then AIIMS naturally deserves to be set up in Kashmir.”
Pertinently, Jammu has already got the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Indian Institute of Management and Indian Institute of Technology.