Peerzada’s ouster a dark shadow on Congress in Valley (Kashmir Newsletter)February 11th, 2012 - 3:53 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Feb 11 (IANS) With one of its senior leaders and ministers, Peerzada Sayeed, submitting his resignation to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the so-called examgate involving his son, a dark cloud looms over the Congress in the Valley.
Ever since the present National Conference-Congress coalition government came to power here after the 2008 assembly elections, the Congress has remained faction ridden in Jammu and Kashmir.
Vertically divided between those who support Saif-ud-Din Soz, the president of the state Congress unit and those supporting Ghulam Nabi Azad, the union health minister, Peerzada’s ouster is yet another jolt to the party that has just three MLAs in the 87-member state legislative assembly.
The party has 11 MLAs in the assembly and eight of them are from the Jammu region.
Commenting on Peerzada’s involvement in the examgate, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in one of his recent tweets said, “So even though the crime branch has stopped short of naming the persons who influenced the cheating it’s the proverbial Ceaser’s wife story.”
The minister had to finally resign under mounting pressure after the crime branch probe indicted him for facilitating his son’s secondary school exam in 2009.
Peerzada’s political career has all along been tumultuous. In 2004 he was indicted by the state accountability commission for a Panchayat electrification scandal when he was the rural development minister in the state.
In 2008 Peerzada had to resign as the education minister and the president of the state Congress unit after an MLA alleged on the floor of the state assembly that he had taken Rupees 40,000 as bribe for clearing a file belonging to the MLA’s sister.
Instead of asking Peerzada to resign, Omar Abdullah exercised caution by approaching the Congress high command for the final call on Peerzada’s future.
Following his resignation, the chief minister Saturday divested Peerzada of his education portfolio in the state cabinet.
Left with little choice in light of the irrefutable evidence that his son had cheated in the exams and some officials of the school board had facilitated the cheating because the student’s father happened to the be the state education minister, Congress high command now has little choice, but to forward the minister’s resignation to the chief minister for acceptance.
The bad news for the Congress is that its woes do not end with Peerzada’s resignation.
Another senior minister and Congress leader, Taj Mohiuddin holding the Public health Engineering (PHE) portfolio in the government has come under scathing attacks of corruption by none other than the minister’s colleague in the party.
Abdul Gani Vakil, another senior Congress leader, has been publicly accusing Taj of rampant corruption in the PHE department headed by him.
An anti-corruption probe into the allegations of corruption in the PHE department has already been ordered.
Although Taj has welcomed the probe, all eyes are now fixed on the outcome of the probe which would determine the minister’s political future.
Ironically, the third Congress MLA from the Valley, Ghulam Ahmad Mir had to resign his ministerial post in 2006 when he was booked by the CBI in the infamous sex scandal racket that rocked the state in 2006.
Mir’s political future or his induction into the cabinet would be a gamble for the Congress high command since the sex scandal case in which Mir is an accused is till pending in a Chandigarh court.
Whatever happens to the political future of its senior leaders in the Valley in the days to come is directly related to the future of the Congress party in Kashmir.
“Some of the Congress biggies were demanding a rotation of the chief minister’s post in favour of the Congress after Omar Abdullah completed three years in office. The irony is that the Congress is right now in a tailspin in the state,” said a senior journalist.
(Sheikh Qayoom can be reached at email@example.com)
- Kashmir minister says Sonia rejected resignation letter (Lead) - Feb 11, 2012
- Peerzada says Sonia rejected his resignation - Feb 11, 2012
- Kashmir education minister resigns (Lead) - Feb 10, 2012
- PDP disrupts Kashmir assembly over corruption - Feb 24, 2012
- Omar divests minister of education portfolio - Feb 11, 2012
- Probe Sushma's links to Reddy brothers: Digvijay - Sep 05, 2011
- Yousuf's death has exposed rampant corruption in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti (Interview) - Oct 09, 2011
- Kashmir education minister resigns over examgate - Feb 10, 2012
- Kashmir abuzz with fallout of Congress debacle - Mar 08, 2012
- Jaganmohan quits party, Congress unmoved (Roundup) - Nov 29, 2010
- Farooq denies bribery allegations - Oct 06, 2011
- Hazare turning blind eye to corruption in Kashmir: Mehbooba - Oct 07, 2011
- Kashmir's examgate: education minister indicted? (Lead) - Feb 08, 2012
- 'Coalition politics future governance mantra in India' - May 02, 2012
- Kashmir education minister cheated for son's exam? (Lead) - Jan 30, 2012
Tags: accountability commission, assembly elections, ceaser, chief minister, coalition government, congress president sonia gandhi, crime branch, dark shadow, development minister, education minister, electrification, final call, ghulam nabi azad, health minister, jammu region, mlas, panchayat, state congress, tweets, wife story