War of words between the ruling National Conference (NC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) turned ugly over the issue of deterioration of Srinagar city on Saturday when an NC spokesman used caustic words against the opposition party's chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar.
"Akhtar was a key player brought by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed (former chief minister) during his regime to remove nameplates of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (founder of the NC) from government buildings and shrines. But God made Akhtar pay in this world only when he got afflicted with heart disease and underwent a major surgery (sic)," said NC spokesman in a statement in Srinagar.
The NC's statement came in the backdrop of the diatribe launched by the PDP at the ruling party for deterioration of Srinagar city with the local bodies' elections nearing in the state. The polls are scheduled for March next year.
"Srinagar is turning into world's fastest growing slum because of the government's neglect. The ruling NC doles out haphazardly-conceived works to its cadres in the name of development only to provide them monetary benefits…the misfortune of Srinagar is the result of lack of any vision for the City in any National conference led dispensation that is why the city now looks centuries behind its counterparts in other states," alleged Akhtar recently.
Reacting to Akhtar's allegations, the NC spokesman described him "a villager" saying "he should bother about his native place Bandipora, 40 km away from the city." The NC spokesman alleged Akhtar got name plate of Abdullah removed from the Hazratbal shrine.
"Mufti's black regime deliberately ignored Srinagar city and turned it into ruins. Around 14 lakh city dwellers were held ransom with educated unemployed youth meted with step-motherly behaviour in the recruitment processes," said the NC spokesman.
Akhtar, when contacted by the HT, refused any nameplate of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was removed during the PDP regime from any government building or shrine.
"It's baseless. It's Mufti who depoliticised the Auqaf (body governing function of shrines in the state) and produced two universities from its money. We allotted ambulances to shrines. Otherwise, NC leaders' relatives were at the helm of affairs of the shrine board," alleged Akhtar.