Act Against Tainted Ministers: Mehbooba To Omar

Act Against Tainted Ministers: Mehbooba To Omar

15 February 2012
Greater Kashmir
Suhail Ajmal

Bandipora: Terming the government’s action to pre-maturely retire some middle-rung officials as a farcical move, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday said the government was looking for scapegoats among the employees to hide the “massive political corruption in the state.” “Corruption in high places can’t be curbed by removal of teachers, linemen and technicians. The Chief Minister should have the courage to act against tainted ministers in his cabinet,” Mehbooba told reporters after addressing PDP workers’ convention here today. She was referring to government announcement of premature retirement of 13 middle rung and low paid employees yesterday in the name of “cleansing the administration.” “To act against few lower rung officers is not a big deal. It is mere eyewash and will have no impact,” Mehbooba said and added that in the upcoming Budget session of the state legislature opposition will seek answers from the government on every penny. PDP president said it looked ironically cruel that a teacher should be removed from service in the name of toning up administration at a time when Education Minister's involvement in the exam scam has been established beyond doubt and the system based on political expediency was not able to do anything. Similarly, she said power sector has been the worst victim of corruption, malpractices and misgovernance in the last three years. Although chief minister who also holds the charge of power portfolio needed to explain the downswing in a sector that had been put on rails by the previous coalition but instead a lineman, the lowest rung official in the department, has been called to account and made to pay with his job, she said. While serious allegations have been made against the PHE minister even by his own party-men, government crackdown is confined to junior engineers who also are apparently taking the brunt of allegations against the rural development minister. 'Accountability clearly can't get more farcical than that' Mehbooba quipped. 'There is no doubt that corruption has eaten into the vitals of our society and it is hurting the common man at every level. Whether it is about getting a document from revenue department, a ration card, a residence certificate, an identity card, a driving licence or a big contract, nothing happens without greasing the palm of the concerned in most cases, but all this is promoted by the top guns who receive share of the booty.' She said if the entire political leadership that heads the administration is suspected of corruption and malpractice, going after the small fish will only feed cynicism and evoke derision. Mehbooba said the depleting levels of moral and political authority among the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues had led the state to total paralysis of administration. She said not only in Kashmir valley but even in Chenab and other hilly regions of Jammu division also there was acute shortage of supplies. Government ration depots are empty and cooking gas is just not available even in the black market she said. She said government writ ran only on paper and it's activities we're restricted to official propaganda, handouts and photo ops. Party General Secretary Muhammed Dillawar Mir, District President Yasir Reshi, Zonal presidents Imtiyaz Hameed Reshi and Abdul Majid Rahi, party leaders Advocate Abdul Majid Mir, Shiekh Qawamudin Shilwati and Ab Rashid Singh were also present and addressed the workers on this occasion. However, PDP legislator from Bandipora Nizam-ud-Din Bhat was conspicuously absent.