PDP MLA now gives sleepless nights to Sayeed Govt
The week-old Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government faced fresh problems over portfolio allocation with a prominent Shia leader Imran Raza Ansari deciding to stay away from office, claiming on Sunday that he was "pressurised" by his supporters to refuse the low-key ministry given to him.Updated: Mar 08, 2015, 18:10 IST
The week-old Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government faced fresh problems over portfolio allocation with a prominent Shia leader Imran Raza Ansari deciding to stay away from office, claiming on Sunday that he was "pressurised" by his supporters to refuse the low-key ministry given to him.
42-year-old Imran, son of late Maulvi Ifthikar Hussain Ansari and PDP MLA from Pattan, flew in from Jammu to Srinagar and met people of his constituency who had been protesting against the portfolio of sports and youth affairs and information technology given to him.
This comes barely a few day after People's Conference leader and separatist-turned-politician Sajjad Lone was apparently peeved over animal husbandary and science and technology portfolio.
However, he has denied it now and is likely to join his office soon.
"I had to come to Srinagar for some personal reasons and please respect my privacy," Lone said.
The U-turn from Lone seems to be after consultations with the BJP leadership.
However, Imran seems to unlikely to join the cabinet till the PDP leadership addresses the issue.
"I have had no problems but I have been pressurised by my people to stay out of office over the allocation of portfolio," Imran told PTI in Srinagar.
A Master's Degree holder in Political Sciences from Jamia Milia University in Delhi, Ansari said his constituents don't want him to join the Sayeed ministry.
"I have to respect their feelings. They (people) feel that with this portfolio I cannot be serving them any good."
He attended the cabinet sub committee meeting on Sunday held at SKICC but he reasoned that this was for the welfare of people.
"I would have been working for their welfare even as an MLA. After his father's death on September 30 last, Imran was instrumental in consolidating Shia votes in favour of the PDP and his public meetings attended by Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti attracted large gatherings. "I am trying my best. I am not unhappy. I joined my ministry on day one and also attended a developmental meeting. But in front of my people, I am helpless as they feel that the portfolio does not match my stature," he said.
Imran maintains that despite this he would be attending all such meetings which are for the benefit of the people but his return to office remained uncertain.
"You see, politicians are answerable to the people of their constituency and I am no different. I am also answerable to them as I have to revert to them again for votes and ensure that I am able to do some development of my people," he said.
Shabir Ahmed, a close confidante of Imran, says that their leader is not in awe of houses or fleet of cars.
"He has seen this from early stage of his life." Another close confidante of Imran, Nissar Ahmed from Hazratbal, says that if Sayeed had to give him such an unimportant portfolio, he should have not given him anything at all. "This is not done. They (PDP top brass) cannot insult our leader like this," he said.