SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference on Monday accused chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, of “complete surrender” in order to remain in office at all costs, saying she is being merely summoned at security review meetings to play a “supporting role” to governor N N Vohra.
“The appalling fact that the chief minister is summoned to merely attend security review meetings is an indication of how Mehbooba has surrendered the mandate and sanctity of the chief minister’s chair in order to remain in office at all costs,” NC provincial president, Kashmir, Nasir Aslam Wani said in a statement issued here.
Wani said it was an “established precedent” and security protocol that the chief minister, as the head of the Unified Headquarter (UHQ), calls the security review meetings and heads them.
“But now, she is invited as a mere participant to such meetings at the Raj Bhawan if not just as an observer. This does not bode well for the institutions of democracy in the state,” he said.
The NC leader said “the new trend” of security review meetings being chaired in the Raj Bhawan in the presence of the governor was against the spirit of governance in the state.
“If New Delhi doesn’t trust Mehbooba, they should stop this facade and do something about it. Having security review meetings in the Raj Bhawan belittles the democratic process and the very essence of a Government’s representative character,” he said.
“The Chief Minister has been elected to play an active role in security matters of the state and this mandate and authority cannot be shifted to anyone else,” he said, alleging Mehbooba’s “surrender is total and complete”.
Wani alleged that in addition to the security review meetings at the Raj Bhawan, it is the Governor who is calling meetings with ministers to inquire about core policy measures and the ministers in turn were briefing the Governor instead of the Chief Minister.
“It is high time Mehbooba either steps up to the challenges and responsibilities that come with power or at least demonstrates the humility to admit she is not up to the task. Her incompetence, ineptness and lack of leadership threatens to discredit democratic institutions beyond retrievable limits and this is an enormous risk for a state like Jammu and Kashmir,” NC provincial president Kashmir said.