For most of the history, it has been Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, who has remained the chief manager of the National Conference (NC). Not a treasurer alone, he is the custodian of most of the historic treasure that Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah left by way of the correspondence he had as the erstwhile leader of J&K. Sheikh Nazir would decide the mandates and he had a greater role in allocating the portfolios.
But that role gradually shrunk after Dr Farooq Abdullah agreed to shift to Delhi. Last week, Shiekh Nazir was seen in tears publicly at the Nawai-e-Subh complex, the post-1990 Mujahid Manzil of the party. Reports appearing in the vernacular media suggested that he broke down soon after he had a heated exchange with the female legislator representing Habbakadal. She had reached late for an interaction with party workers called by Sheikh. Sheikh, a close relative of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, even refused to allow Shamima Firdous, chairperson of State Women’s Commission and MLA from Habbakadal, to sit on the dais.
All the ministers were supposed to reach the Complex at a particular time. While almost everybody reached in time, it was Shamima Firdous who arrived late. Sheikh was busy making his speech when he noticed Ms Firdous entering and sitting on the podium. Sheikh stopped and asked her why she was late? Unable to explain things, she was directed by the party secretary general to get out of the meeting. She was in tears and as she was leaving, the workers stopped her and made her to sit in the audience.
It was at that time when Sheikh was seen in tears, pointing fingers towards the podium explaining that ministers were because of the people whom they are increasingly ignoring. “I, as general secretary of the party have enough power,” Sheikh cried, adding, “I was ill, that does not mean you will ignore the party workers.” He even accused “ministers from periphery” of ignoring Srinagar alleging they were interesting in having there bungalows only.
This encouraged the people in the audience who resorted to sloganeering against the ministers. They accused ministers of not having any time even for their MLAs. One repeatedly accused the ministers of being thieves. It created a situation that the meeting had to be cancelled and the ministers escorted to safety in another room. Later they drove to the secretariat, in a delegation, where they lodged their protest against the humiliation. The meeting that was supposed to draft plans for July 13 was called off in a huff. Any follow up, buddy?