Former Kashmiri bureaucrat Shah Faesal, who resigned from the Indian Administrative Services on Wednesday in protest against government policies, said on Friday he wishes to work with people at the grassroots and “reimagine politics in Kashmir”.
It was earlier speculated that Faesal – who in 2009 became the first Kashmiri to top the Union Public Services Commission examination – would join the National Conference and contest the General Elections from Baramulla. But the former IAS officer said he has no such immediate plans.
“I do not have any plans to join any political party as of now,” Faesal told reporters at a press conference in Srinagar. “I will go to the field first. I will be happy to contest coming elections. Decision of joining any political party after talking to people.”
Faesal said his resignation was a “small act of defiance” to remind the Centre of its duties towards Kashmiris. “I am protesting against lack of credible political initiative by the central government,” Greater Kashmir quoted him as saying. “It is important that right to life of Kashmiri people is respected.”
Asked about his political beliefs and ideology, Faesal said he was deeply inspired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “I wish if the youngsters of Kashmir give me support, I will do the retake of Kejriwal and Imran Khan in the state,” he told the media. “Mainstream politics needs to be reimagined.”
Asked if he would think of joining the separatist Hurriyat Conference group, Faesal said he is a trained administrator. “Hurriyat doesn’t give me that opportunity since they don’t believe in electoral politics,” he said.
On Thursday, former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram had said Faesal’s resignation was an indictment of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre. He said “the world will take note of his cry of anguish and defiance”.