Mired in controversies because of leaders shooting mouth in different directions, Kashmir's oldest party National Conference (NC), which is heading a ruling coalition in the state, has come up with Western-educated, stylish and sensible 34-year-old spokesman Tanvir Sadiq, youngest ever.
Sadiq --- who returned to Kashmir in 2010 after completing his higher studies in information technology and management at New York's PMI Institute --- was zeroed in by the recently-elected young NC working president Omar Abdullah, also chief minister of the state.
"It was the party president's decision to have me as the spokesman. The idea is to bridge the gap between the party and the fourth estate," Sadiq told the Hindustan Times.
He replaced controversial spokesman Dr Mustafa Kamal, also uncle of the chief minister, who was appointed last year. Kamal put the government in tight spot on several occasions. Last year Kamal accused the army of grenade attacks to scuttle the move to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
"Now onwards everything I say will be the party position. Whatever other leaders will say will be their personal opinion," clarified energetic Sadiq.
During Kamal's tenure as the spokesman, the relation with the coalition partner Congress grew tenuous when he raked name of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and his interference in state politics.
"I am here to strengthen the coalition further. The upcoming polls will be elected by the coalition partners together," said Sadiq, sporting grey hair and stylish suit like his mentor Omar Abdullah.
Tanvir takes it as compliment if a parallel is drawn between his and Omar's grey hairstyle. "Mine is natural grey hair. No issues if compared with Omar sahib, the best leader around," said Tanvir.
Ever since militancy erupted in 1990, the party rarely appointed spokesman in the valley, even if one was nominated, he would be oblivion or out of bounds.
"There was realisation there is a gap so I am supposed to bridge that. I will try to brief the press every week," said Sadiq, fluent in Urdu and English.