Corruption Clamour In House

Corruption Clamour In House

25 February 2012
Greater Kashmir
Sumit Hakhoo

Jammu: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was trying to create differences between ruling coalition partners- National Conference (NC) and Congress - as the party is ‘feeling frustrated with our success to run the government smoothly.’ Wrapping up the three-hour long discussion on corruption as demanded by the opposition in Legislative Assembly, Omar said that PDP had nothing to do with raising the issue of fighting corruption but its only intension was to create divisions. “We were thinking that opposition will provide documentary evidence about the charges against the ministers or suggest ways to fight the corruption, which they are harping for last two days, but their speech was more to create misunderstanding between the coalition partners so that they can grab the power”, Omar said. “Canards have been spread by the opposition in the past against the working of the government. Their intention has always remained to make me pull out of the coalition so that they can sit in treasury benches”, he claimed. Without naming Muzaffar Hussain Beig, Omar said that there are some people who are using sweet words to target his cabinet colleagues. They want to take advantage of the fight between Congress and NC for their own political benefits. “Nothing was said about corruption but attempts were made to create mudslinging between the ministers”, he said. Defending Minister for Public Enterprise, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed, Omar said that Crime Branch (CB) report has not said that his foster son was allowed unfair means during the examination on the directions of the minister. Omar said that he never asked Peerzada for resignation and it was minister’s individual decision. “Minister submitted his resignation voluntarily to party high command and I can say with confidence that if I would have asked minister to resign, he would have obliged”, Omar said. He said that questions are being raised why Peerzada did not submit his resignation to Chief Minister directly. “There is nothing new in it. When Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was Chief Minister and three Congress Ministers had differences with him over some issue, they submitted their resignation to JKPCC president”, he said. Clarifying his stance on G.M Saroori, Omar said that there is a culture in Congress that any case which is investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the leader resigns from whatever posts he holds. “I never had intention to ask Saroori Sahab to resign, and if the case would not have been given to CBI, he would still have been Minister”, he said. Omar announced that if CBI gives clean chit to Saroori in the case, he will again give back the portfolio of R&B Ministry to him. Blaming the former PDP led government of taking cosmetic measures to deal with cases of corruption against officers, Omar alleged that cases were of weak in nature and most of the officers against whom PDP took action in 2003 are being acquitted by the courts. “And now we have to deal with the cases and we are not being able to defend them. Most of the officials are joining back and getting all the benefits of the service”, he alleged. He said that Government is committed to fight the menace of corruption in Jammu and Kashmir and they do not want to take cosmetic measures. “We have taken many steps, but some people against whom there are huge charges of corruption are getting shelter in different parties. We want to create strong institutional mechanism to deal with the corrupt people”, Omar said. RATHER DEFENDS HIMSELF: Defending himself after a PDP MLA leveled charges against him, Minister for Finance Abdul Rahim Rather claimed that no contract was given to his son and State Accountability Commission (SAC) has not charged him. Rather pointed fingers over the credentials of the complainant and sought to know why an anonymous complaint has been treated in such a fashion where several questions remain unanswered. Defending actions of his ministry and senior officials of the Finance Department, Rather said that he will expose those involved in defaming him. “I have nothing to do with the issue. Charges against me are totally wrong and opposition members are just making it an issue”, he said. Rather said that he has full faith in the State Accountability Commission (SAC) and would present the facts of the case to the Commission. He warned ‘invisible forces’ not to play cheap politics of character assassination. While defending his Ministry, Minister for Information Technology, Syed Agha Ruhulla said that charges of favoritism leveled against the Finance Minister and fingers being raised against him are totally wrong. “JK Bank was involved in the Smart Card project because most of the employees have their salary account in the bank and we used the database for our purpose. Our intention was to use data for streamlining the daily attendance process”, Ruhulla said. He said that department of IT has signed MoU with JK Bank and it has helped government to use modern technology to phase out the old system of registers. “JK bank has expertise of the card system and we used their system for our benefits. However we also raised question after it was found that codal formalities were not followed which was later condoned by a Cabinet decision, after the department approached them”, Minister said.