Anantnag: Six years after he announced that he has voluntarily retired from the Indian Forest Services (IFS) and joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), it turns out that former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s cousin and former PDP Coordinator for South Kashmir, Sajad Mufti, had never left his job in the IFS.
The truth has come to the fore after an order by the administrative department of Government of Jammu and Kashmir posted Sajad to Union Territory of Ladakh, “with immediate effect,”
The order (number: GAD (Ser)Gen/95/2013-II dated July 20) reads that Sajad was till now attached with Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu, and has now been placed at the disposal of Union Territory of Ladakh, “in interest of the administration.”
Sajad is Mehbooba Mufti’s first cousin and a JK cadre IFS officer of 2008 batch. In 2014 Sajad had announced that he has voluntarily resigned from the services and joined PDP.
“I was due to retire in 2025 and could have joined politics then, but I did not want to give an impression that I was out of work and joined politics therefore,” Sajad had told this reporter in an interview conducted in January 2016 soon after the PDP patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed died in New Delhi.
Sajad, in the interview, had maintained that his decision to join politics was a well thought out one.
“I have always had a penchant for politics and an urge to contribute. That prompted me to remain actively involved with PDP affairs since its formation,” he had said in the interview.
He, back then, maintained that leaving a lucrative career with 10 years of service still left was a tough decision. “However, Mufti Sahib’s (his paternal uncle) dedication and vision was a major factor in my decision making,” he said.
Even former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti publicly hailed his decision to leave a government job and join politics.
“Why did he need to leave a government job where he was getting paid handsomely and venture into this (politics). He wants to work for the people of Kashmir,” Mehbooba had said during her speech at a party workers’ convention in Dak Bungalow Anantnag.
Mehbooba’s public endorsement of Sajad had irked many senior PDP leaders back then for there had been some fissures created with Sajad’s meteoric rise within the party.
“Many had felt threatened by Sajad’s rise within the party, including some senior leaders. Mehbooba openly endorsing him had irked some of the most senior leaders,” a PDP insider told Kashmir Reader.
Now that it has come to fore that he never left his job and actively participated in politics, remaining an office bearer even within the PDP, many in the party feel vindicated on their differences with him.
“Such people come into politics purely for their own benefit and not for the greater good of the people. It is evident now,” a middle-rung youth leader of the PDP told Kashmir Reader.