Jammu and Kashmir education minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed on Friday submitted his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi after for his alleged role in helping his foster son to clear the Class 10 examination.
Apparently peeved over J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah’s reported statement that the minister’s fate would be decided in the next 24 hours, Sayeed, who was initially unwilling to step down, sent his resignation to Gandhi for “onward transmission”.
The exit was expedited after Abdullah put the ball in the Congress high command’s court along with the findings of the crime branch of the state police.
On his part, Sayeed attacked Abdullah and the National Conference (NC), saying he was “systematically trying to destroy the Congress” in the state. “The chief minister did not take suo moto cognizance of allegations of corruption against NC ministers Abdul Rahim Rather and Ali Mohammad Sagar but has been very prompt in the case of Congress ministers,” he said.
Sayeed is the second casualty after the NC-Congress coalition government came to power in January 2009.
Public works department minister Ghulam Mohammad Saroori of the Congress had to resign from the state cabinet in 2010 following allegations that his daughter had cleared a medical college entrance examination using a proxy candidate.
But Sayeed’s resignation is bound to add to the coalition woes in the state. The Congress is keen to retain the portfolios held by its ministers and has conveyed this to the NC leadership.
After Saroori’s exit, the J&K chief minister has been holding his portfolio.
“We want our portfolios back. There will be no compromise on that,” a senior functionary said.