Ministers to be made incharge of distts for gearing up party activities
JAMMU, Apr 18: Admitting that vacuum got created between the party leadership and the grass root level workers during the past some years due to varied reasons, newly appointed additional general secretary of the National Conference, Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, today said that his priority would be to fill up this gap by reaching out to the party workers in every nook and corner of the State, which, according to him, will serve twin purposes of further strengthening party’s base and highlighting the achievements of the Omar Abdullah-led Government.
In an exclusive interview to EXCELSIOR, Dr Kamal said, “it is a fact that there is a vacuum between the party leadership and grass root level workers ever since the formation of NC-led Government in the State”.
On one side party president, Dr Farooq Abdullah, is finding it difficult to spare enough time for the party activities because of his busy schedule in the Union Government and on the other side health constraints have restricted the movement of our general secretary, Sheikh Nazir Ahmed, he said, adding even the Ministers of the party could not spare adequate time during the past three years for the party affairs because of numerous responsibilities on their shoulders.
“Though Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, has been trying to maintain rapport with the party rank and file one way or another yet my priority as additional general secretary of the National Conference would be to reach out to the party workers in every nook and corner of the State so that gap is filled up and everybody associated with the party works for its further strengthening and highlighting the achievements of the National Conference-led Government”, Dr Mustafa Kamal said.
Disclosing that he has carried out tours of nine districts of the Kashmir valley as a part of party workers contact programme, he said, “one thing which I noticed everywhere and which is a matter of satisfaction for all of us is that people are still associated with National Conference and have full faith in the party leadership”, adding “people are also satisfied with the functioning of the NC-led Coalition Government”.
Admitting that there was a feeling among the party workers that some of the National Conference Ministers have confined their activities to limited areas, Dr Kamal said, “as additional general secretary of the party I will lay stress on making each Minister of the party incharge of at least two districts, where they will carry out party activities as well as take stock of people’s problems”.
“Our party workers are aware that resolution of problems take time and Omar Abdullah-led Government is committed to resolve grievances of all sections of the society but they want Ministers and senior leaders to at least listen their grievances”, he said, adding “even the party president, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has issued directions to the party Ministers to look beyond their own constituencies”.
About his party workers contact programme in Jammu region, the additional general secretary of the party said, “I have already worked out a schedule in this regard. In each and every district headquarter I will first convene party workers meeting to take stock of their issues and then convene public meetings to apprise the people about the achievements of the Omar Abdullah-led Government”.
“My priority will also be to give a boost to the party activities in those areas where our candidates lost the Assembly seats with small margin”, he said, adding “there will be regular interactions with the units of the party in these areas for gearing up activities to further strengthen the party”.
In response to a question about the infighting in the party, Dr Kamaal said, “some senior leaders are feeling ignored….. some people don’t like new faces but I will try my level best to ensure that everybody in the party works in tandem to further strengthen the party”, adding “if we want to see National Conference forming next Government on its own we have to set aside the groupism, likings and dis-likings”.
Expressing satisfaction over the performance of Omar Abdullah-led Government during the past three years, the additional general secretary of NC said, “the revolutionary steps of the Government like Right to Information Act and Public Service Guarantee Act have now started making impact on the ground and during next three years people would reap the benefits of several people-friendly initiatives of this Government”.
Responding to another question, he admitted that party elections were overdue. “Membership forms have been distributed and soon after elections to Urban Local Bodies, the elections to district and block level units of the party would be held”, Dr Kamal said, adding “following this delegates of the party would take decision on party president and general secretary”.
About the criticism of the National Conference-led Government by the People’s Democratic Party, he said, “I don’t understand why they are so impatient…..they should wait for election. It is only during elections that they (PDP leadership) would come to know which party has acceptability among the masses”.
Terming PDP as power hungry party, the additional general secretary of National Conference said, “it is an established fact that PDP was instrumental in Amarnath land row, Shopian incident and then creating stone pelters”, adding “but people have now understood the fact behind the mask of PDP which is evident from the peaceful 2011”.