National Conference on Monday expressed serious concern over the complete surrender by the Chief Minister’s office in unofficially relinquishing its authority and said Mehbooba Mufti had been reduced to a mere figurehead by New Delhi. National Conference Provincial President, Nasir Aslam Wani said it was evident that the Chief Minister is no longer the operational head of the UHQ and is merely summoned to play a supporting role to the Governor. In a statement issued to KNS, NC’s Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said, “The appalling fact that the Chief Minister is summoned to merely attend security review meetings is an indication of how Mehbooba Mufti has surrendered the mandate and sanctity of the Chief Minister’s chair in order to remain in office at all costs.It is an established precedent and security protocol that the Chief Minister - as the head of the UHQ - calls the security review meetings and heads them. Now, she is invited as a mere participant to such meetings at the Raj Bhawan – if not just as an observer. This doesn’t bode well for the institutions of democracy in the State.”The NC Provincial President said the new trend of security review meetings chaired in Raj Bhawan with the Governor present went against the spirit of accountable 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. 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 added. “Mehbooba Mufti’s surrender is total and complete. In addition to the security review meetings at Raj Bhawan, it is the Governor who is calling meetings with Ministers to inquire about core policy measures and the Ministers in turn are briefing the Governor instead of the Chief Minister. It is high time Mehbooba Mufti either steps up to the challenges and responsibilities that come with power or at least demonstrates the humility to admit she isn’t up to the task. Her incompetence, ineptness and lack of leadership threatens to discredit democratic institutions beyond retrievable limits and that’s an enormous risk for a State like J&K”, the NC Provincial President said.The NC Provincial President said Mehbooba Mufti’s vestigial role in the current unrest had been provocative, arrogant and counter-productive.“She is responsible for humiliating the agitated youth, being insensitive towards mourning families and in turn aggravating the already grave situation. While her posturing must have earned her laurels and many new friends within the BJP and the RSS, her stand has added salt to gaping wounds in Kashmir. Coupled with her insensitivity and ruthlessness, her incompetence is pushing the State closer and closer to an unprecedented, disastrous situation", he added. (KNS)