J&K Cabinet Meets In Remote Tangdhar, Excuse To Attend Wedding Of MLA's Son

J&K Cabinet Meets In Remote Tangdhar, Excuse To Attend Wedding Of MLA's Son

30 May 2012
Deccan Herald
Zulfikar Majid

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday chaired the state cabinet meeting at Tangdhar, the remotest area in northern Kashmir situated near the Line of Control. While the official spokesperson said the idea to hold the meeting in the remotest village was to take the government to the doorstep of the people, address their difficulties and focus on area-specific development needs, sources gave out another reason. They told Deccan Herald that all cabinet ministers including the chief minister had to attend the wedding party of the son of ruling National Conference MLA Kafil-u-Rehman there on Tuesday. Sources said the cabinet meeting was just an excuse. The idea of holding the meeting at Tangdhar was floated to enable the ministers to attend the wedding of Omar Kafeel, the Karnah MLA's son. A senior bureaucrat seeking anonymity said lakhs of rupees were spent to take the ministers to Tangdhar (Karnah) in the state aircraft. “The state aircraft had to make at least eight sorties from district headquarter Kupwara to Tangdhar to ferry the ministers. Due to the cabinet meeting in Karnah all important work at Civil Secretariat suffered for two days,” he said. Normally cabinet meetings are held for an hour in the evening at Civil Secretariat. “Public participation doesn't take place at cabinet meetings. Therefore it hardly matters if they are held in Srinagar, in the air or on any other planet,” the bureaucrat said. While chief minister Omar Abdullah drove to Tangdhar, 184 km from here, on Tuesday evening, his cabinet colleagues arrived on Wednesday morning by helicopters. An official statement said the chief minister received the sector wise appraisal of development schemes under implementation in Tangdhar and Teetwal blocks, constituting Karnah tehsil. He granted an additional Rs 1 crore for the completion of school buildings damaged in the earthquake of October 2005. Nearly, 300 people had died then.