G. A Mir questions BJP’s silence over induction of Tassaduq in state cabinet

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SRINAGAR : Congress president G. A Mir today questioned BJP’s silence over the induction of Tassaduq Mufti, younger brother of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, in the state cabinet, saying the party which had made dynasty rule an issue in poll campaigns is “keeping its eyes closed.”

“It is easy to deliver sermons but when it comes to one’s own house, the BJP is silent today,” said Mir, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president.

“If you look at this government, over two dozen relatives of Mehbooba are directly and indirectly running the affairs,” Mir told reporters at a function here. When asked about the induction of Tassaduq into the state cabinet, Mir said he had nothing personal against him but “those who spoke against dynasty rule, why are they silent today.”

“Tasaduq’s oath taking is the biggest backdoor entry. When they felt that they will be defeated in the bypolls (to Anantnag parliamentary seat), they ran away and now through backdoor entry he was inducted in the cabinet,” the Congress leader said.

Bypolls to the Anantnag parliamentary seat, where Tassaduq was the PDP’s candidate, was cancelled after large scale violence in Srinagar in April in which eight people died.

Mir said it would have been a courageous step had the PDP vacated a seat and sought people’s mandate in his favour for his induction in the government. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir are politically mature and fully understand every move of the government. Sometimes the people do not talk, but when the real time will come (elections), their fingers will talk,” he said.

Talking about the government’s decision to hold Panchayat elections in mid February next year, the JKPCC president said the decision could be a “political stunt” to convey a message to the people that “we are ready for elections and the situation has returned to normal.”

“The Congress has welcomed the government decision as we believe that it strengthens democracy. Congress never runs away from such an exercise,” he said.