JAMMU: Things are not really moving in the direction, BJP “leader” and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh wants. He taught Jammu a lesson for the crime Jammuites committed by voting for the BJP and for him in large number to remain on the right side of the PDP and win over Kashmiri Muslims. The all-powerful PDP is in the driving seat and it has established Kashmir’s stranglehold over the polity and economy.
Nirmal Singh sought to impress the PDP and Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed through his controversial statements. He sided with the PDP and people of Kashmir, when the angry people of Jammu province observed a complete shutdown in their region to lodge protest against the BJP and make the vindictive and biased authorities in Srinagar and Delhi to reverse their decision on the proposed AIIMS. They demanded establishment of this prestigious health institute in the underdeveloped Jammu region. Nirmal Singh instead of connecting with Jammu issued a provocative statement that “No one could snatch AIIMS from Kashmir and it will not be established in Jammu”.
This was his second well thought out attempt to cultivate the PDP and Kashmiri people. His first attempt was when he took on the NC and the Congress during the budget session. He held them responsible for the control of the NHPC over certain power projects in the State. He was so annoyed with the NC and the Congress as well as the NHPC that he charged India with using the state land and the state waters. “They are using our land and water” and the State Government was putting in all efforts to persuade the NHPC to return these power projects to it, he told media.
The Deputy Chief Minister took third step to cultivate the Chief Minister and the Kashmiri people on May 15. That day, the Chief Minister declared in Jammu that the AIIMS will be established in Kashmir and the artificial lake project over Tawi, Suryaputri, could be shelved, as it, according to him, was not viable. Nirmal Singh was very much present in the press meet, which was addressed by the Chief Minister, but he thought it politically prudent not to contest his boss. It was obvious that he did it willfully. On March 1, when the PDP-BJP coalition government was formed, Nirmal Singh also ignored the Chief Minister’s statement that it was primarily because of Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference and militants in this and other side of J and K that the assembly elections could be held successfully.
All these actions of the Deputy Chief Minister, as was expected, annoyed the people of Jammu province. But Nirmal Singh made no attempt to mollify the estranged Jammu for obvious reasons.
However, it now appears that his negative or hostile attitude towards Jammu province has not produced the desired results in Kashmir. In fact, Kashmir has ignored him by ignoring his letters and instructions about the departments under his control. The Chief Secretary, who has very good relations with the Chief Minister and the General Administration Department (GAD), which is under the PDP, have rejected out-of-hand the Deputy Chief Minister’s letters and instructions and held their ground firmly by enforcing their transfer orders.
The case in point is the implantation of the transfer orders under which Joint Commissioner of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Kapil Sharma, KAS, joined his new positing as Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Jammu and the appointment of Naresh Kumar, KAS, as Power Development Department (PDD). Nirmal Singh holds the portfolio of the PDD and Housing and Urban Development. Nirmal Singh had opposed both these appointments, saying that the Chief Secretary didn’t take him into confidence before issuing transfer orders and that he being the custodian of these portfolios was required to be consulted.
The manner in which the Chief Secretary treated the Deputy Chief Minister only suggested that the latter is not being taken seriously by the Kashmiri bureaucracy. In other words, the Kashmiri bureaucracy doesn’t consider his letters and instructions seriously.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper