With state under Governor’s rule for the second time since 2014 assembly elections, there are more than a few angry faces roaming around in Kashmir. They are the same people who once enjoyed the benefits of power and position when the state was run by PDP-BJP coalition government. But after the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7, 2016, all political posts ceased to be. The death of head of the state means suspension of his cabinet, his government and all other posts occupied and filled by the politicians. One doesn’t need a reminder or feel about such sudden change, as it is a normal procedure. But a few political appointees seem to be unaware of the procedure as they refuse to let go their chairs. They continued to attend their offices even after the state is run by the Governor and not their party heads.
Immediately after Mufti’s demise GAD removed name of ministers from their official website. The next order from GAD pulled back all official vehicles, and recalled personal staff attached with these ministers, however, they are yet to vacate their official residences. Though there was hope of an early government formation initially, but GAD was merely acting as per the set norms. So, nobody felt bad except a few newcomers from the BJP, who refused to let go their pervious status and benefits. But same was not the case with political appointments. Chairperson of State Women’s Commission(SWC) appointed by late Mufti, is still attending the office! Reason.The chairperson has not received any formal communication.
Others were not as lucky as SWC head. They were formally informed through Governor’s communication that they should vacate their offices. Something they should have done voluntarily. Is it because of the confusion or sheer ignorance of rule is a matter of debate. But in any case leaving a plum position needs more than political will. Holding a constitutional position and attending political meetings, simultaneously, doesn’t deem fit.
One argument is that these political appointees were hopeful, rather eagerly waiting, for an early end to political impasse that J&K is going through to get on with their business, gracefully. But then the appointment of advisors by the Governor should have worked as a hint. Rather, they preferred to cling to hope, if not literally to their chairs.
Their reluctance has forced the Governor to formally direct them to vacate their offices till a new government is formed. Till then they are just political activists who have no stake in the functioning of the state. Hope the roaming lot takes cue from their seniors and does what is to be done.