‘My services only for Mufti, not for the present PDP’

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu, April 7: Former Public Works Minister Altaf Bukhari yesterday said his services as a lower rank in the ministry were available to late Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and to no one else.

He would not join the new PDP-BJP government even if he was offered a portfolio, which was not allotted to him on the swearing-in ceremony on Monday.

MLA from the prestigious Amira Kadal constituency in Srinagar, Bukhari was once considered very close to the Mufti family.

He told a local Daily over phone that, whatever is being regarded to him is something which he did to ensure that the wish of his leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to see his daughter Mehbooba Mufti as the Chief Minister was fulfilled.

Bringing fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir would have been like causing trouble to people of the state. Mehbooba Mufti is the most deserving candidate to be the Chief Minister as she has a 20-year-long political struggle behind her, Bukhari said.

Him saying that he would not serve as minister to anyone else clearly indicated that the distance between him and the Mufti family has widened.

Because of his high-profile portfolio, Bukhari had emerged as a strong face of Srinagar during Mufti’s tenure. He is also a well-known businessman, and had worked a lot to help flood victims in Srinagar.

It was seen that Srinagar-Budgam MP Tariq Hamid Karra, played a role in getting Bukhari axed from the ministry.

Karra, however, was dissatisfied because two other ministers — Haseeb Drabu and Naeem Akhter — whom he wanted to be excluded from the ministry were beneficed on Monday.

The war between them has disappointed the PDP.

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