Noted academician Amitabh Mattoo Wednesday resigned as adviser to Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Although Mattoo cited personal reasons for stepping down, sources attributed it to non-recognition of his functional authority in the government by some senior PDP ministers and senior bureaucrats.
Until late evening, the Chief Minister had not accepted his resignation as efforts were on to persuade Mattoo to continue. A senior PDP leader was tasked to visit Mattoo for reconciliation. However, Mattoo is scheduled to leave Thursday to return to a teaching assignment in Melbourne. He was not available for comments.
Mattoo (54) was appointed adviser with status of a Cabinet minister by Mehbooba Mufti in April this year. He had earlier been an adviser to her father, Mufti Sayeed, till his death in January last while in office as CM.
Sources said that some of the senior PDP ministers and bureaucrats had been openly refusing to recognise Mattoo’s “functional role’’ in the working of their respective departments. In this context, they recalled how a senior minister objected to his convening a meeting of senior officials of his department to discuss certain issues pertaining to migrant Kashmiri Pandit community.
Although he had not been happy over the attitude of these ministers and bureaucrats towards him, he finally decided to quit office following a tiff with a senior bureaucrat over the allocation of funds Tuesday evening. The bureaucrat outrightly rejected his recommendations regarding allocation of funds for certain works, sources said.