NC fountainhead of corruption: Mehbooba

Srinagar, November 02 (Scoop News) -    Reacting sharply to repeated claims of the chief minister Omar Abdullah that corruption could not be tackled because of ‘coalition compulsion’ Peoples Democratic Party today said National Conference was the fountainhead of corruption in Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of whether it was in coalition or enjoyed 2 thirds majority in the assembly.

In a statement issued here today party president Mehbooba Mufti said NC was responsible for according social respectability to corruption after their two decade long hunger in wilderness between 1953 and 1975. “Until the tallest leader of the NC began his second innings in power in 1975 with allocation of prime state lands to his family, corruption was still viewed with contempt in the state” she said. Given the unholy haste with which the post accord cabinet in its first meeting allotted Gupkar land to Abdullah family it seems the 1975 accord was signed only to rehabilitate them in the nature of the latter day Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) she added. “One wonders how a family in which no member ever did a proper job or business except politics is now among the richest in the state if one goes only by their declared assets” Mehbooba said. She said J&K needed a commission to probe all politicians for their assets post 1975, and she offered her own as the first.

Mehbooba said Omar Abdullah was using coalition as an alibi to cover up his failure in tackling corruption as he lacked moral credibility following allegations against him in the Yousuf Haji death case. She said otherwise he has been a beneficiary of congress indulgence which stood by him more vocally than even his own party when he faced the serious charges. “Similarly Dr Farooq Abdullah continues to be a party of the UPA cabinet when he should have been in the company of D Raja and Suresh Kalmadi for his role in the swindling of money meant for promoting cricket in the state”. She said the coalition under Omar Abdullah is functioning as a mutual benefit arrangement and the chief minister who should have led by example by offering himself for probe is now trying to philosophize the loot promoted by him. “But he must understand there are no takers for such misleading claims now, Mehbooba said.

Mehbooba said some of the ruling politicians could not afford an autorickshaw before becoming ministers but now owned sprawling estates, thriving businesses, luxuries and costliest cars. Some persons close to the chief minister wielding extra constitutional authority have experienced windfall gains over the past four years adding phenomenally to their fortunes in every conceivable way and it is unimaginable that Omar Abdullah would be unaware of this. 

Referring to the collapse of transparency institutions like the State Information Commission (SIC) or anti corruption bodies like the State Accountability Commission (SAC) and State Vigilance Commission (SVC) under the present regime Mehbooba said this had been done deliberately to provide space for unchecked plunder of state resources by the ruling politicians. She said Omar Abdullah by going against the SAC to high court challenging its jurisdiction on technical reasons had shown way to his colleagues in the cabinet many of whom have also secured stay orders on same grounds. “For a well meaning chief minister it would have been preferable to subject his conduct to scrutiny and if there was a technical hurdle it should have been removed by the government rather than use it as a fig leaf and decapacitate an institution” she said.

Mehbooba said it seems Omar is talking to people of another planet by complaining of corruption resulting from coalition compulsions as everybody remembers how the Farooq Abdullah government before his had converted government jobs into a commodity even though he enjoyed a brute majority in the legislature. The same practice has been revived now and about 1 lac jobs are vacant with apprehensions that the ruling party agents may be collecting money from the gullible unemployed youth. She said similarly the government money is distributed like favor for political or pecuniary considerations.

The government Mehbooba said, has promoted black marketing of even cooking gas causing an unprecedented crisis. She said at least the unsubsidized cylinders should have been available without hassles pointing out that J&K was the only state where scarcity in spite of price rise was experienced. She said this was never possible if the government and its agents were not direct beneficiaries of this brazen loot which has literally broken the back of common man.

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