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J&K CM rejects minister's resignation
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar |
September 05, 2007 13:18 IST
Last Updated: September 05, 2007 15:27 IST
In a dramatic twist of events, Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has rejected the resignation of senior People's Democratic Party leader and housing minister, Qazi Mohammad Afzal, asking him to continue in the council of ministers.
A letter written to Qazi by the chief minister in the wake of the former's resignation from the council of ministers said, "I am surprised to receive your letter dated September 4, 2007, tendering your resignation from the council of ministers."
The letter further said, "Indeed, you had mentioned to me that one of the officers of the state forest department had the temerity to leave the country on more than one occasion without seeking the permission of the commissioner/secretary of the department or you as the minister or even the chief minister."
The sudden twist came after Qazi on Tuesday tendered his resignation from the council of ministers after being divested of the forest portfolio on Sunday following allegation of corruption in his department.
The decision by Azad to divest Qazi had created flutter in the ranks of the PDP. Abdul Aziz Zargar, a senior minister of the party, had openly expressed resentment over the chief minister's decision, which had come without any consultation with the alliance partners.
Meanwhile, Qazi, while acknowledging that he had received Azad's letter, said he will take a decision on the latter's advice only after consulting his party.
"I represent PDP in the coalition government and the party decision is supreme to me. I will abide by it. A meeting of the party is in progress on the issue," the senior PDP leader said.
Acknowledging that the chief minister had taken him into confidence before taking away the forest ministry, Qazi said, "I had brought to the notice of the chief minister some issues pertaining to the functioning of the forest department but he should have consulted my party leadership before taking any decision (about divesting of the portfolio of forest, environment and ecology from him)."