Secretariat Gossip

This was in context to some scheme about tourism that had elapsed. Though chief minister was in chair but, insiders suggest, the sentence was targeted towards Abdul Rahim Rathar, the NC veteran. Interestingly, Rathar did not react. He might have been dumb-founded because this kind of insult from a colleague was unexpected that too in presence of the chief minister. Finally, when both Rather and Abdullah kept an enigmatic silence, the otherwise soft spoken Chief Secretary S S Kapoor intervened and politely asked Jora to maintain the ‘lines of control’.

Deputy CM Is Angry, Really!
Tara Chand has been a great survivor. As speaker of the legislative assembly, he had a central investigative agency almost on his head. Luck favoured him again when Congress was swept out of Jammu but he survived. Then he emerged the dark horse in the race for deputy chief minister and got it. Now firmly saddled, his first priority was to get Special Services Group (SSG) cover, but the law did not permit it. Now he is angry. He had suggested the cabinet to remove certain officers but he was not obliged because his sugested replacements were unacceptable to government. In fact, he had summoned a senior officer asking him why he had briefed former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah over a case of encroachment in Srinagar. Insiders say these are mere indications of how Congress would be handling things in coming days.

Omar Needs a Bit of Explanation
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah flew to UK for celebrating his birthday with his mother. Well deserved as it was his mother whose intervention at family level paved way for his takeover as J&K top executive. But flying out of India now is a bit of problem. Every chief minister, especially from J&K, has to seek a formal permission from the central government before flying out. But in this case, the formality was skipped. Insiders tell us he had only told a Kashmiri Congress leader in Delhi that he is going out on a personal visit. Top honchos in Delhi are not convinced. Sources in state government tell us that Omar had not skipped the mandatory information. In fact his principal secretary, they say, had sent a communication to the central government on the eve of Omar’s departure. Since Omar has had a good discussion with the Prime Minister, we presume, among other things, this issue must have been sorted out too.

Mubeen Shah Is a Problem!

Almost every administrative decision that was taken by the governor during his six months rule last year was reversed by the elected government. But they are not taking Dr Mubeen Shah back on the board of the J&K Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC). The reason that was allegedly cited by  Naeem Akhter, the then Tourism Secretary for evicting Dr Shah from TDC was that he was emerging as an obstacle for leasing out land to non-local entrepreneurs. The decision though taken long back was actually implemented during the governor’s rule. Then the agitation was at its peak. The agitation is over and there is no apparent friction. But Dr Shah is still out of TDC. Suggested for bringing him back have come up but policy makers in the new administration still see a problem in him. Insiders said effort are afoot weaken the Kashmir Chamber by encouraging many others, a process that was tried during governor’s rule.

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