Srinagar, May 7: Opposition National Conference today said only the Jammu and Kashmir Governor being invited to attend the high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi to discuss various issues pertaining to the state, amounted to “bypassing” of the elected chief minister. “Instead of the elected chief minister, New Delhi invited the state’s Governor for the high-level meeting to discuss various key issues pertaining to it.Also Read - Jammu And Kashmir Extends COVID Curbs; Night, Weekend Curfews Imposed. Details Here

“This is yet another sign of how Mehbooba Mufti has bartered the constitutional mandate and sanctity of the Chief Minister’s Office to remain in her chair. This brazen disempowerment of the chief minister is an alarming development,” NC chief spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi alleged. The fact that the central government has “sidelined” the elected chief minister in dealing with vital issues of the state and the subsequent “conspicuous silence” of the chief minister does not auger well for the state, he said here. ALSO READ: Mehbooba Mufti asks students to help implement ‘odd-even’ in Jammu and Kashmir Also Read - Earthquake of 5.3 Magnitude Strikes Jammu and Kashmir, Tremors Felt Across Valley

“The Union Home minister chaired the meeting to discuss various key issues pertaining to the state including the issues of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandit migrants, return of civilian land by the army, the security situation in the state post the Handwara and Kupwara tragedy and the situation along the Line of Control. “While the meeting was attended among others by Defence Minister Manohar Parikar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the state was represented by Governor N N Vohra and not the chief minister,” he said. Also Read - Srinagar Airport Restricts Entry Time For Passengers To Avoid Overcrowding Amid Covid Cases

The NC chief spokesperson alleged Mehbooba had now been “officially relegated to the status of an ad hoc chief minister” who had been placed in the chief minister’s office by the BJP for “specific and limited purposes of furthering BJP’s agenda in the State”. “If the chief minister has no say in these issues that pertain to the state, one wonders why she has been placed in the chief minister’s chair in the first place.

It is evident that the state is being “run from New Delhi” and the state government has been “divested of all its rights and roles”, he alleged. “Even law and order, which is a state subject in exclusivity, is now being supervised directly by New Delhi as was proven in the NIT issue and more recently the Handwara incident,” he said. Mehdi said the chief minister’s “omission” from these meetings indicates a “continued erosion of the state’s democratic institutions” under the PDP-BJP Alliance and these developments have created “widespread disillusionment and resentment” in the state.