The roving chief minister of state last week was touring Old Srinagar—from where he straight away drove to picturesque Manasbal. In between he had a short stay at Central University of Kashmir. A day out was meant to review educational performances in these institutes.
Mufti’s next stop was in the lap of Harmukh Mountains housing valley’s lone state administered Sainik School, where he received March Past by cadets. While roaming around the school premises spread over 550 Kanals of hilly land, Mufti expressed concern over “low profile of school”.
“Why is Sainik School not the priority of parents for the admission of their wards,” he asked the principal. The CM who was accompanied by education minister, Naeem Akhtar and Kashmir Police Chief Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani also asked for the report card of the students.
IGP Gilani, an alumnus of the school, was seen giving his observations about the development of school. “The infrastructure has remained same what it was when I was a student of this institution,” he said.
Mufti while moving around classrooms observed “dull gardens”, enquired about school gardeners and ridiculed the administration for not planting flowers. Later he would enquire about casual labourers, as well.
“It is the only school under direct control of J&K government,” he told the school administration. “Work to improve the rolls of this institution.”
Perhaps the best part was served at last. While spotting the “very weak” students, Mufti was told students are fed with Ice creams and Biryani. “Increase the monthly stipends of the students,” his parting remark to school admin.
On the day touring Old city, Mufti Sayeed was apparently Dr Farooq Abdullah for the day! It might sound astounding—as political nemeses are known for their traits, opposite. If wittiness is hallmark of Dr NC patron, then silence is PDP patron’s feature. But last week, Mufti Sayeed, during a function at Islamia College of Science and Technology, Srinagar played the role out of his skin. To everyone’s surprise, he blurted out: “Where is Gilani?”
For the moment everyone assumed that Mufti is asking for senior separatist, Syed Ali Geelani! In a knee-jerk reaction, people were shortly amazed to know: Mufti was basically beckoning Kashmir Police Chief Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani, who was accompanying him. The difference between “i” & “e” in the name became clear.
While Mufti was inspecting the MP Boys Higher Secondary School in ‘National Conference hotbed’ – Khanyar, the number of locals swelled outside the entrance of the Senior Secondary Educational Institution.
People had come to put forth their grievances before PDP-BJP coalition chief executive. They were not let in. Those included students as well who were let in after hectic process of ‘requesting this one and that one’.
The CM’s cavalcade was welcomed by life size hoardings of PDP MLC Khursheed Alam. Although the MP Higher Secondary buildings which were inspected by CM were renovated by JK Police, Alam had his day to the dismay of many PDP coordinators.
If the PDP insiders are to be believed, the party has shot “clear-cut” directives of not ‘politicising’ any event ‘in-favour’ of the ruling coalition partner.
The outer space of the School saw many interesting scenes when local PDP activists fought amongst each other; an elderly who had some grievance had to literally ‘abuse’ an official who was looking across the gate to get entry: “Let him in,” the officer directed his subordinates looking on.
Moving on, Mufti seemed in ‘not-so-good’ humour with CUK VC as he asked him to ‘move-on’ as Prof Mehraj-Ud-Din presented his welcome address. On dais, Mufti introduced VC as “Siraj-Ud-Din Sahab”!