There is alleged ‘tussle’ between LG’s office and Chief Secretary, and this is affecting governance.

Srinagar: Internal rumblings in the Jammu and Kashmir administration have roots in the alleged tussle between Lieutenant-Governor Girish Chandra Murmu’s office and J&K Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subramanyam. Highly placed sources told this newspaper that this tussle has impacted different wings of the government as the present bureaucracy in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is now divided into two camps.

Reports said that recently, L-G Murmu had given his nod for the creation of an advisory council comprising some former ministers and politicians, including J&K Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari. The news was reported in sections of the media in New Delhi, saying that Altaf Bukhari and other politicians would be taking oath in June first week.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav in a recent interview advocated an urgent political process along with restoration of 4G services in Kashmir valley. Reports said that the interview of Ram Madhav rattled J&K BJP unit and they immediately issued a statement saying that no advisory council or government will be formed in Jammu and Kashmir without elections. Even Ram Madhav was forced to change his statement and an interview in a newspaper shows his retreat from earlier statements. Ram Madhav has said that polls would be held in coming months and every political party in Kashmir should accept abrogation of Article 370 as a settled issue.

Talking to this newspaper, two former ministers and prominent leaders of J&K Apni Party Altaf Bukhari and Ghulam Hassan Mir said that they were in touch with the central leadership of BJP and held talks with Prime Minister and Union Home Minister for starting the political process and bridging the gap between the people and administration in Kashmir. Asked about making of the advisory council, both of them said that if they are consulted for such a move by the Centre, they would give their suggestions.

Arun Joshi, a senior journalist and editor from Jammu, said: “It seems that elections will not be held even in the near future. On the one hand, the Centre has started the delimitation process; on the other hand, they are promising elections within months—it is impossible.”

Official’s privy to developments told this newspaper that soon after stiff opposition by the Chief Secretary, even Murmu went soft and did not press for the advisory council and its creation. His silence enraged the local politicians who were in the loop with Murmu and Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the creation of advisory council.

J&K Apni Party headed by Altaf Bukhari flayed the Jammu and Kashmir administration, accusing it of throwing governance to the winds. A statement by the party on Tuesday said fissures and groupism in the bureaucracy of Jammu and Kashmir had left governance tottering. The statement claimed that bureaucracy presently is divided into loyalists to the Lieutenant-Governor and the Chief Secretary.

Recently, Apni Party leader Ghulam Hassan Mir, who was minister in different governments, had criticised the government for not taking the Durbar seat of the government to Srinagar. He accused the administration of being biased against Kashmir. There were a series of statements by local politicians against the UT administration in the recent past. Another former lawmaker and Apni Party leader Rafi Ahmad Mir took on the government for the “divided shape of its face in J&K”. Rafi Ahmad Mir on Tuesday said that governance in J&K had come to a grinding halt, mainly because of groupism in bureaucracy.

“J&K is witnessing a kind of uncertainty and an unwanted decay in its governance apparatus mainly because of lobbyism of its senior civil service officers and the same is going unnoticed in the din of the Covid pandemic in Jammu and Kashmir,” Mir said in a statement here.