Clean Faces: What Will Congress Do?


 KL Report

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With Congress’s young leader Rahul Gandhi publicly committed to clean governance for J&K and elsewhere, Tuesday’s reshuffle will offer an idea how serious the commitment is! Rahul and Omar are close friends and their relationship is the key to the four year old ruling coalition without an ‘unwritten’ common minimum programme.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, the Congress’s two-time lawmaker from Dooru, south Kashmir is a hot contender for his re-induction in the council of ministers. Sources suggest he is by now cleared for oath taking. Mir was one of the two ministers who were arrested by CBI in the sensational sleaze racket that was surfaced in 2006 in Kashmir. Ghualm Nabi Azad was the Chief Minister then. But Mir was exonerated by a designated court in Chandigarh where the trial was held after the case was shifted out.

Congress’s Uri lawmaker Taj Mohi-ud-Din despite being the most productive in terms of additional resource mobilization for the state kitty is literally embroiled in controversies. While he is already facing a case in the high court for alleged land grabbing in Jammu, another issue of his involvement in the forest land grab in south Kashmir was reported by the media in 2012.

Party’s former state chief Peerzada Sayeed was sacked as education minister by Ghulam Nabi Azad for an allegation that he accepted a bribe from a lawmaker who later joined youth Congress. In the current dispensation he got the same ministry and was axed again. This time Sayeed was accused of using his influence as education minister to ensure his foster son qualifies his 10th class examination with flying colours. An enquiry was ordered in February, 2012 but the outcome is not made public yet. While Chief Minster kept his portfolio with him, Sayeed is a cabinet minister for public sector enterprises.

Inderwal MLA Ghulam Mohammad Saroori was sacked as public works minister of the state after his daughter was accused of using an impersonator during a competitive examination in Jammu. It led to the shifting of the case to the CBI that exonerated the lawmaker. While his mentor Ghulam Nabi Azad repeatedly asserted that Saroori was framed. Sources in Delhi suggested that there was “something big” against the minister that led to his exit. It remains to be seen if he is being re-inducted by Omar on Tuesday.

It is interesting to mention that Congress is expected to induct at least two of three new faces from the Chenab valley. The names being talked about include Banihal MLA Vikar Rasool, Doda MLA Abdul Majid Wani and Saroori. This is being given the top priority because Congress heavyweight Ghulam Nabi Azad is contesting 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Udhampur that includes Chenab Valley as well.

There are a number of other Congress ministers against whom the incumbent government has a lot of issues, most of which are not public. Insiders said that the Congress high command is aware of everything.

It is said that Congress state president Prof Saif ud Din Soz has handed over the list of the party choice to Omar Abdullah this afternoon. The list was conveyed to Soz late Monday night by the party high command. Though, the exact details are not available but it is said that Health Education Minister R S Chib is dropped from the list. He is completing his tenure as MLC in March.


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