Corruption Charges Rock J&K Assembly
14 January 2008
Jammu: This is a dubious first for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, which is set to be rocked by corruption charges. Shoaib Lone, independent MLA has alleged that a minister in the Ghulam Nabi Azad government demanded a bribe of 40,000 rupees from him. The drama's climax came as Shoaib walked up to Azad, brandishing a piece of paper, saying the minister's name was written on it, but the name wasn't revealed. 'I wanted to expose this government's corrupt practices to the public,' said Shoaib Lone, Independent MLA. Shoaib Lone said he had got threatening calls from this minister. State CM, Ghulam Nabi Azad was clearly on the back foot. 'The person who has called up Shoaib, has taken money from Shoaib as bribe, it's clear, but now it's to be seen whether he is conduit and whether he demanded money for himself or for somebody else,' said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Chief Minister, Jammu and Kashmir. The opposition is backing Shoaib Lone on the issue. 'Azad has not given a clear assurance in the house, he should have taken action against the minister,' said Abdul Rahim Rather, Leader, National Conference. Shoaib Lone also charged that his father Ghulam Nabi Lone, who was shot by unidentified gunmen in 2005, was a victim of political conspiracy and not of militant's bullets. Azad said a CBI inquiry will be ordered into the killing. The government has ordered a CBI inquiry on the demand of the opposition parties and it has reduced the tension to some extent, but clearly the entire issue has damages the corruption free campaign launched by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.