Srinagar: Minister of State (MoS) for Hajj and Auqaf, Syed Farooq Andrabi, has tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Andrabi, who is also the maternal uncle of the chief minister, has not given any reason for leaving the ministry except that he had some “personal reasons” to do so, government sources said.
The chief minister has accepted his resignation and forwarded it to Governor NN Vohra for approval, the sources added.
Most of the leaders and office bearers of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) neither confirmed nor denied the report of Andrabi’s resignation. Both the general secretaries of PDP, Rafi Mir and Nizamudin Bhat, said they “have no idea” whether Andrabi has resigned from his post or not.
“We have not talked to him. We do not know whether he has resigned or not,” both Bhat and Mir replied in response to a question on the minister’s resignation.
Andrabi could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts.
It was also not known when Andrabi tendered his resignation to the chief minister.
Kashmir Reader had earlier reported that Andrabi has been asked to leave the ministry to make way for the induction of his nephew and brother of chief minister, Tasaduq Mufti, in the cabinet. PDP sources said that the induction of Tasaduq in the council of ministers would have taken the number of Mufti family members to three, which would have smacked of nepotism. With the quitting of Andrabi, the party would avoid such an impression, they said.
“The axing of Andrabi from the council of ministers was already decided. He had to go,” said PDP sources.
Most probably, Andrabi’s ministry will be given to the confidante of the chief minister and legislator from Wachi constituency, Aijaz Mir.
Some party members confided that Andrabi, who represents the Dooru assembly constituency in south Kashmir, would be given reigns of the Waqf board.