Muzaffar Hussain Baig's ultimatum to Mehbooba Mufti: Is Jammu and Kashmir CM losing grip on her ministers?

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has not only come under fire from former deputy chief minister and senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig for failing to implement the PDP-BJP Agenda of Alliance (AOA), but the CM has also lost the grip on government functioning with employees defying her orders to attend the duties.

The current unrest in Kashmir which has claimed over 76 lives has ensured that Mehbooba has not only drawn criticism from the general public, but even her recent order where she asked staff to report to their duties is not being followed. Baig asked Mehboba to step down in case she fails to deliver on the implementation of the AOA. Now, even the ministers of the PDP-BJP government are not able to monitor the works of their departments and fail to visit their respective districts.

Minister for co-operatives, Chering Dorjay, said that he has not been able to visit the districts particularly that in South Kashmir in view of the prevailing unrest. "I had planned a tour of all the districts which was to start from Baramulla to review the work of my department including the co-operative banks. But due to the current situation, I couldn’t carry out the visits. Even we have deferred the elections to the primary societies for which the necessary formalities were earlier done."

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig. Image courtesy: IBNLive

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig. Image courtesy: IBNLive

Despite the orders earlier which were issued by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir that the salary of the employees will not be released most of them have been staying away from the duties. The Hurriyat Conference has asked the employees not to join duties while the militant outfits have asked people to observe the strict shutdown. The youth, who pour out on the roads, put up road blockades and check the identities of people before they are allowed to cross.

Only the patients are allowed to visit hospitals. The circular which was issued by a Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) in Budgam here has noted that “it has been observed that some of the officials are not attending their legitimate duties regularly. So it is impressed upon the headmasters of all the high schools. Middle schools and primary schools to ensure that the presence of all the staff members (teaching/ non teaching) for discharging their duties in their schools on regular basis, failing which action warranted against law shall be initiated against erring officials.” The ZEO’s order referred to the earlier instruction which was issued by Deputy Commissioner Budgam through circular no DB/PA-attendance/2001-10 dated 17/08/2016 conveyed through Chief Education Officer Budgam vide no CEOB/ Estt/2016/11996-12135 dated 18/08/2016 in which the staff was asked to report at the duties regularly.

Before the unrest over Burhan Wani's death started in Srinagar, state government had been strictly trying to ensure punctuality in the offices and had stressed that "no salary or wages would be drawn in favour of government employees of any category for the month of March 2016 onwards unless they have enrolled themselves in the Aadhaar based biometric system." " The order also applies to the PSU employees, contractual, consolidated, casual workers or any other type of persons drawing wages in any form from the public exchequer. It will be the duty of the concerned Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) to ensure enrollment in the system before 31 st March 2016 and furnish a certificate for the same along with the salary bill presented in the treasury, without which the treasury officers are directed not to entertain any salary bill,’’ read an earlier order issued by government.

However senior officials, who didn’t wish to be named, said that even at the Civil Secretariat in Srinagar, where the ministries are located, not all the employees including the senior rung officers are coming for duties. “The biggest priority before the government should be to bring normalcy and not to exert pressure on employees to come and join duties,” he added. An employee working with the education department said that he couldn't attend the duties. " I once tried to visit the office in Budgam and came out of my house in civvies, but was not allowed by the protesters to move onward," he said.

Vice-president of the Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) Wajahat Durrani, said that the government was asking “employees to risk their lives to attend duties.” “How could we have attended the duties during curfews when the forces were not allowing any movement of people and even didn’t recognize curfew passes? Government is pitting us against the people, we can’t do that,” he said.

Government had earlier asked the contractors to start the road repair works, but they have declined to commence the works until the separatists end the current spell of strikes. Chief Engineer Roads and Buildings (R&B) Satish Razdan, said that the government was making efforts to start the repair works of the roads. “ We held the meeting with the hot mix plant owners but they refused to start the work until the situation turns normal,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Nasir Ahmad Naqash, admitted that "most of the works have remained hit."

Updated Date: Sep 09, 2016 16:13 PM

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