Srinagar, Oct 7: Accusing Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad of violating the fundamentals of the coalition ethics, senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) minister Qazi Mohammad Afzal said it would be against his conscience to continue in the state cabinet.
Mr Qazi had resigned as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) minister in protest after Mr Azad stripped him off his Forest portfolio on September 4. However, his resignation was not accepted and instead a junior forest minister was asked to look after the HUD ministry.
An agitated Mr Qazi, who defeated National Conference (NC) president Omar Abdullah from Ganderbal constituency in 2002 assembly elections, shot off another letter to Chief Minister alleging that his earlier letter on September 5 has not been acknowledged nor any action on it taken by him (Azad) Mr Qazi in the letter on September 5 had resigned from the cabinet and questioned why the PDP, a major partner in the coalition goverment, was not taken into confidence before he was stripped of his portfolio.
In the fresh letter, he said he had expected Mr Azad to relieve him of his responsibilities immediately on receipt of his resignation in view of the very clear and serious reasons he had furnished. But, unfortunately you have preferred silence over the matter, Mr Qazi said in the letter.
''Meanwhile, many actions have been taken by you which have further brought into focus the reasons for my stepping down from your cabinet,'' he said and added these actions have only added to strains on the spirit of coalition instead of serving to undo the wrongs that he had protested.
''As has already been pointed out, your recent actions violated the fundamentals of coalition ethics. Needless to point out that it can under no circumstances brook unilateral decisions on important issues. The actions taken by you and the manner in which issues were handled could subvert the very purpose and objectives of the coalition,'' the fresh letter written by Mr Qazi said.
''I feel, it puts a big question mark on the very basis of the coming together of our parties for achieving the grand dreams of peace, dignity and development shared by my leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the Congress president Sonia Gandhi.'' ''In such circumstances it would be against my conscience to continue in the state cabinet, Mr Qazi said in a one page letter to Mr Azad.
''You must be aware that I have not attended to my duties as a minister ever since I sent my resignation to you on September 4, 2007. I treat myself relieved of the responsibilities and hope you would without any further delay fulfill your obligation to have my resignation formally accepted.
''I have also relieved my personal staff that worked with me as a minister,'' he said.
On October 4, Mr Azad asked a junior minister Ajaz Ahmad Khan to look after the HUD in addition to his own portfolio.
He said Mr Khan would look after the government business related to the HUD till further orders.
Surprisingly, all the senior leaders of the PDP are silent over the issue.
The Congress and PDP formed a coalition government in 2002 after the then ruling NC was voted out in assembly elections. The two parties agreed to share the power for three years each and the power was transferred to Congress in 2005.