Updated: August 11, 2016 3:19:56 pm
The most vocal ministers in J&K cabinet Education Minister, Nayeem Akthar, Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, Revenue Minister, Bashaarat Bukhari and Roads and Buildings Minister, Abdul Rehman Veri have gone into hibernation at a time when J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti and the PDP faces sharp criticism over killings of more than 55 civilians.
A Majority of PDP ministers and legislators have social media profiles and until the present crisis, were active on Facebook and Twitter to share views and personnel achievements on different occasions. But these ministers, legislators and top party leaders have gone silent. Even the party’s chief spokesman, Mehboob Beg, a former parliament member who hails from south Kashmir has gone into silent mode.
Instead of these powerful politicians, the job of defending the government and the chief minister has fallen on three former scribes who joined the government a few months ago as media consultant and media analysts
Media Consultant, Suhail Bukhari, a former journalist along with his two other colleagues – Tahir Sayeed and Javaid Trali have been regularly updating their views on education, loss of business due to unending strikes and messages of chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti on their social networking sites, despite receiving brickbats from the people they have been continuously posting messages about the activities of chief ministers.
“We are doing these things at our personal level and we will continue to write irrespective that many people will disagree with us. We don’t even react on the abuses that we receive on the social networking sites,’’ Media Consultant to J&K government, Suhail Bukhari told The Indian Express.
Apart from few statements and interviews from J&K’s Education Minister, Nayeem Akthar who is also spokesman for the government, only once J&K Youth Service and Sports Minister, Imran Reza Ansari has issued a statement accusing opposition National Conference for instigating trouble in the Valley.
A top PDP leader told The Indian Express that chief minister; Mehbooba Mufti has now asked her colleagues to start defending the party and even has given a go ahead to three member team of Media Consultant and Media Analysts to create a “good perception” about the government and its leadership at this crucial juncture.
Sources said that the sharp criticism in the media and on the social networking sites even by the well wishers of PDP or those who in the past have been rewarded by the party in different capacities has also irked the chief minister. “The people who have been benefited by the Peoples Democratic Party government have also starting lashing the chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, her style of governance and the entire PDP,’’ said a senior PDP leader who is close to chief minister. “Along with the proof we have put all the negative remarks circulated in the media before the chief minister.’’
He said that chief minister had now directed ministers to create a good awareness about the government by using social forums and public outreach as well as social media. “Even some have been asked to defend the party and its leadership by writing articles in the Valley’s vernacular dailies. I don’t know, why ministers and other PDP top leaders have adopted silence when party needs their services the most.’’
In the current cabinet, at least three top PDP ministers hold good influence over some newspapers and have been also writing lengthy articles on pseudo names in the past over various issues in the local press. Nizam-ud-din Bhat, former legislator and party general secretary, Firdous Tak and Zaffar Iqbal Manhas both legislators have been associated with different newspapers, but all have adopted tactical silence.
PDP spokesman, Rafi Mir said that PDP has media team that is defending government and chief minister. “Media team has been hired for this job and they are doing it,’’ he said adding that even ministers and legislators will be ready to defend government and the chief minister, if journalists call them for their comments.
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