PDP’s Baig ‘desperate’ to get cabinet berth, assignment in valley

Junaid Hashmi

Ex-Finance Minister and currently, Member Parliament (MP) from Baramullah-Muzaffar Hussain Baig is making ‘desperate’ efforts to get close to Prime Minister Narinder Modi and in return, get the coveted position of union cabinet minister.

Once a lawyer of Mohammed Maqbool Bhat, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, who was known for being closer to the separatist camp before he joined hands with ex-chief minister late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, is using every platform to impress Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His statements are in complete contrast to what other PDP leaders, MLAs and MLCs are saying in Srinagar.

From referring to certain individuals in his speech during the Lok Sabha debate, Beig’s colleagues in PDP accept that he has been desperately trying to either get into the union cabinet or get some assignment in Jammu and Kashmir. They refer to Baig’s ambitious past because of which he was asked to quit by ex-Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed from the cabinet of the then Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Insiders accept that Mufti had then smelled Baig’s close proximity with Azad and felt threatened that he may break the party. They say that Baig’s language in New Delhi is increasing troubles for PDP in valley, where the party is making desperate efforts to re-establish connect with people and bring calm back on the streets across the valley. They add that he is desperate to get into the union cabinet and is hence, speaking the language acceptable to the party in power.

But back home in valley, PDP insiders accept that Baig is not helping the state government at all in improving the overall security scenario. “His Lok Sabha speech was the beginning. He should have either not spoken at all or if speaking was mandatory; he should have made sensible statements, keeping in view the situation in valley. But he is bent on impressing Prime Minister Narinder Modi and in return either get accommodated in the Union Cabinet or create a situation where he gets some important assignment in Jammu and Kashmir,” said a senior PDP leader.

He added that Baig is a clever politician and hence, is trying is emerge more loyal than the king because after the death of ex-CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, he feels, there is no one of his match in the party. “He always believed, he was the one who would succeed Mufti sahab.  But the untimely demise created a situation where he knew he would not be liked or that he would not get sympathy of the people of Kashmir valley. Hence, he is waiting for his opportunity,” added the leader.

So, his statements should be seen in this context. It needs to be mentioned here that Baig during the all party meeting had said that the students in Kashmir valley get two sets of kameez pajamas from their families and these vulnerable minds are told that if you die in Jihad, you will go to paradise and if you survive you will be a hero. He had gone to the extent of saying that Women cook food and then come out to protests after 8, 9 PM.

“In my own village (In Baramulla), women who are my own relatives go out to protest in the night after they cook dinner. It is happening across Kashmir. That’s why night curfew was imposed. There is 73 per cent rural population who were bystanders earlier, they are participating fully now,” Baig had said that during the meet. He had said that there is narrative of religious extremism and added that people should not agitate on excessive use of force, pellets etc and rather have patience.

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