In 1984, Farooq Abdullah, then chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) had called a cabinet meeting to scrutinise the wedding invitation card of Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of Mufti Muhammad Sayed who was then Pradesh Congress chief!
There had been rumours that Abdullah would be dismissed; that his party, National Conference (NC), would be split and his brother-in-law, GM Shah, would be made chief minister. Abdullah and his ministers hoped that Mehbooba’s wedding would save their government or at least delay their dismissal until the government had to disperse for the Eid holidays.
The state cabinet, however, dismissed the rumours as speculation, reassuring themselves, that the PCC chief would not have made an elaborate, week-long schedule for the marriage of his daughter if the Congress were planning any such move. But within two days, the NC had split and Governor Jagmohan, on the instructions of then prime minister Indira Gandhi,administered the oath of office to Shah.
Abdullah not only paid for his miscalculation, but Mufti also had to grudgingly curtail the wedding celebrations as curfew was imposed after the government's dismissal. Ironically, the former is now Union minister in the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, while the latter heads the People’s Democratic Party, the main opposition in J&K. These revelations are part of a new book, Haayaat-U-Khidamaat, on the life of Shah, now deceased. The book, by his son Muzaffar Shah, is a compilation of essays on Shah, and includes two chapters that he composed himself. The book was released in Delhi in the presence of senior CPI leader A B Bardhan and Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi. The book is published by Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference Publishing House.
At the book release, Tyagi blamed both the Congress and the BJP for proving a nightmare for Kashmir. “History has shown us that both the traditional political parties have proven the worst for Kashmir,” said Tyagi. He further alleged that New Delhi had forced Kashmiri youth to cross the border for arms training in 1989 by neglecting their existence. “And now when the youth are demanding their rights by pelting stones on the streets, they are being showered with bullets,” he said.
In one of the chapters that Shah composed, Shah charges the Congress of engineering communal tensions in J&K in order to get rid of him in 1986, two years after making him chief minister. “Behind the scenes, Congress raised an organisation in the name of Muslim Action Committee which was headed by a Congress man. In Jammu they [Congress] backed Shiv Sena against the government. This was all done to dismiss my government and pave way for a Congress-led government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” writes Shah.