Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sonia rejects Peerzada's resignation

After launching a counter offensive against chief minister Omar Abdullah yesterday and using personal influence in the Congress high command in New Delhi, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed has managed to protect his berth in the cabinet for the time being but lost the portfolio of education.

Talking to media persons today, Peerzada said Sonia has rejected his resignation and asked him to continue in the council of ministers. Chief minister Omar Abdullah also confirmed that Peerzada will continue in the cabinet. "There is nothing further on the Peerzada Sayeed matter except that the portfolio that he was holding of the school education has been withdrawn. He continues to be minister (of enterprises) in my cabinet and that is the end of the matter," Omar said. Chief minister will himself now take care of the education portfolio.
Peerzada had submitted the resignation to Sonia following allegation that he had facilitated through BOSE  and education department officials the unfair means by his foster son Imam  Sauban during 10th class examinations two years back. On the directions of chief minister, the crime branch conducted a probe into the matter and its  report was forwarded  by Omar to UPA chairperson.

The National Conference (NC) media centre today issued Dr Mustafa Kamal’s statement,  in which he lashed out at Peerzada for bypassing Omar and sending his resignation to Sonia.  “He should have submitted his resignation to chief minister as per the law.  But he committed an unconstitutional act and insulted the constitution by bypassing chief minister and he should publicly apologise for it. The foul language used by Congress leader against Omar sahib reflects his poor mentality and frustration over losing power,” Kamal said.

PCC chief Prof Saif-u-Din refused to comment on the issue. “Peerzada sahib was asked to submit his resignation by the Congress high command and he submitted his resignation, which is with Sonia Ji right now. Beyond that I will not say anything,” he said. However, sources said after Peerzada submitted his resignation yesterday, the Congress high command decided not to accept his resignation  for the time being but  divest him of the education portfolio.

Subsequently, chief minister was asked to withdraw the education department from him. Following Peerzada’s counter offensive against Omar, NC had also come on defensive as the party did not want an embarrassing situation since the Congress minister had threatened to go to media and expose the conspiracy against him  and wrong doing by the government. He raised the custodial death of NC activist Syed Yousuf, which is viewed as a veiled threat by him to Abdullah family.

Peerzada, during his interaction with media, in Jammu said, "Sonia Ji has not accepted my resignation. I was asked by her to continue work. This is a vindication of my stand that I am innocent. As a soldier of Congress -- nominee of Congress -- I will work in this coalition government."

He added that, "I submitted my resignation to Sonia Ji as I am the Congress nominee in the cabinet. I told Congress high command that it is my resignation and I will abide by the decision she takes. I came to know that she has rejected my resignation.”

About Omar divesting him of the education portfolio, Peerzada said, “Portfolios are the prerogative of the chief minister,” he said.

Feeling safe now, the Congress minister softened his stand towards chief minister and denied having said anything against him  yesterday. “I have not said anything against Omar. In fact I remained confined in the four walls of my issue yesterday. Such allegations were part of conspiracy to weaken the coalition government. My opinion is that Omar Abdullah is our chief minister-- we respect him-- we are his colleagues. We will strengthen accord between two coalition partners for peace, progress and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir. We will both work together,” he said.

Referring to his foster, Imam Sauban, Peerzada said the former is not my real son. “Imam Sauban has disowned me as his father. He has said I am not his father nor he accepted my parentage,” the Congress minister said.
He claimed that the reason for his second marriage was that his wife was the victim
of militancy and that he rehabilitated a family.

According to him, some vested interests do not want coalition to continue. “These very vested interests are hatching a conspiracy to weaken our government,” he said.

Peerzada tried to connect the present controversy with the civilian unrest of 2010. “Conspiracy against me was hatched up because some people are unhappy with what I did in 2010),” he said.

The Congress minister claimed that he put an end to hartal and reopened the schools
which did not go well with these vested interests.

He demanded a thorough probe into the whole matter.
It may be recalled here that yesterday, Peerzada had criticised chief minister for tweeting that action in his matter would be taken by a day and that crime branch had stopped short of naming the Congress leader in its report. Peerzada’s family members had also told media persons that Peerzada in his letter to Sonia had alleged that chief minister was involved into the killing of senior National Conference (NC) activist Haji Mohammad Yousuf.

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