NC demands probe
Anantnag: Three ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) workers were injured on Monday after they clashed during a party meeting at its Anantnag office over allegations of backdoor appointments in government departments.
A PDP man who was part of the meeting said the scuffle broke out at the PDP office in Khanabal between workers of two factions comprising those led by the PDP district president, advocate Javaid Sheikh, and the party’s coordinator for south Kashmir, Mufti Sajjad. It was learnt that the faction led by Sheikh levelled allegations of nepotism against the faction led by Mufti, who is a paternal cousin of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“Apparently some backdoor entries have been made in various government departments, and the faction led by Sheikh has been kept devoid of such favours, which led to the argument and the consequent scuffle,” the PDP man told Kashmir Reader.
The scuffle disrupted the meeting, prompting the organisers to call it off. While Sheikh was present for the meeting, Sajjad, who was scheduled to attend it later, skipped it after reports of the scuffle emerged.
Sheikh told Kashmir Reader that the fight had broken out between two party workers over a personal disagreement. “It had nothing to do with party politics. Besides the scuffle happened well before the meeting,” he said. Sajjad, however, was not available for comment, despite repeated attempts.
The allegations of backdoor appointments provided fodder to opposition National Conference (NC), which demanded an inquiry. NC spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu tweeted, “Infighting within PDP over distribution of backdoor appointments to party workers is the tip of the ice-berg. Merits a comprehensive probe.”
He further posted that the CM was not elected to empower her relatives to give jobs to their workers at the cost of merit and transparency.
“She is answerable,” he wrote. “Allegations of corruption/nepotism against members of Mehbooba Mufti’s family, now being raised by PDP workers. What can be more serious?”
The PDP spokesperson, Mehboob Beg, meanwhile claimed ignorance of the incident. “I don’t know what happened. I am here in Srinagar,” Beg told Kashmir Reader.