High command comes to Peerzada’s rescue, rejects resignation

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Srinagar: In an interesting twist, Congress high command has rejected the resignation of Education Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayed from the Omar Abdullah led council of ministers.
Peerzada had on Friday sent his resignation to the Party chief and UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi after he was allegedly found involved in exam gate issue.
He, however, refused to accept to submit his resignation to the Chief Minster saying “Omar is not my Boss, Sonia ji is.”
However, sources said that Peerzada while conveying his decision to step down told AICC member and Congress incharge J&K, Mohan Prakash that high command was itself uprooting the party in the state.
Sources said after several rounds of meetings in New Delhi after Peerzada faxed his resignation to 10 Janpath, Congress high command decided against forwarding the resignation to Chief Minster and decided not to call back him from the cabinet.
However, it was decided to divest Peerzada of Education portfolio. Subsequently General Administration Department issued a circular late last evening stating that Education portfolio has been divested off Peerzada and will remain with Chief Minister till further orders.
Meanwhile, confirming the developments Peerzada told KNS that he was still in the council of ministers though the Education portfolio was taken away from him. “I got a call from Party high command last night and was told that Sonia Ji has rejected my resignation and I will continue to be minister in the cabinet,” Peerzada told KNS over phone from Jammu.
He claimed the Party high command’s decision was an acknowledgment of his innocence. “I have repeatedly said that I have done nothing wrong and am still open to any inquiry, Peerzaada who now holds charge of Public Enterprises ministry said.
He also said that he got a communiqué from the GAD on Saturday morning informing him that Education portfolio was taken away from him.
Earlier Omar also made it clear that Peerzada was still in the council of ministers though without Education portfolio. Omar according to media reports has said that Peerzada will continue to be in charge of Public Enterprises.
Meanwhile, disassociating himself from the remarks regarding Chief Minister Omar Abdullah which appeared in a section of press on Saturday attributing to him, Peerzada said, “I have not said anything against Omar. The only thing I said was that he has sent his resignation to Sonia ji and not the CM.”
“We have to strengthen the coalition government and I will make every effort to do so. We will provide every support to the CM to run the coalition smoothly,” he asserted.
In the meantime Peerzada’s official residence in winter capital Jammu was abuzz on Saturday with hundreds of his supporters most of them from his home constituency Kokernag pouring into express solidarity with the under pressure minister.
Some senior Congress leaders and cabinet ministers from his party also visited him. Sources told KNS that Congress ministers held a closed door meeting at Peerzada’s residence. However, there was no word of what transpired in the meeting.
Sources told KNS that Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din has flown to New Delhi to brief the party high command about the latest developments.
-KNS

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