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Omar’s authority on transfers upsets Cong
Published on 8 May. 2010 11:58 PM IST
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A proposal to give Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah the sole authority to transfer deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police has led to a row with the Congress party.
Leaders of the Congress, an ally of the ruling National Conference, have made their displeasure known to Abdullah, according to sources close to Congress ministers.
The ministers felt that the proposal, if accepted, would reduce the sanctity of the cabinet.
“In this era of decentralisation, such centralisation of power would do more harm than good to the state administration,” a Congress minister told IANS.
They are disturbed that they were not taken into confidence when the proposal was made.
“It came to us as a shock in the cabinet meeting when this proposal surfaced out of the blue,” a Congress minister complained.
When the proposal was put up April 28, it generated a heated debate. Eventually, discussion on it was postponed to the next cabinet meeting in Srinagar May 12.
The chief minister’s aides are all for the new move.
They say that in the event of an emergency, the chief minister, who holds the portfolio of general administration, can quickly shift the officers in districts where deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police run the administration.
“This is meant to ensure better accountability,” said a source close to the chief minister.
But the Congress ministers see in this proposal a design to undermine their authority. A three-member ministerial panel has been constituted to suggest a middle path, another source said.

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