Ministers Have Become Prostitutes, Says Congress Minister Taj Mohideen

Ministers Have Become Prostitutes, Says Congress Minister Taj Mohideen

11 October 2012
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: A Congress leader in Jammu and Kashmir compared ministers with prostitutes after he was accused of grabbing forest land in the Legislative Council. The Panthers' Party member Syed Rafiq Shah displayed documents in the Legislative Council accusing Congress leader and the minister for irrigation and flood control Taj Mohideen of grabbing forest land in Shopian district of South Kashmir. Raising the issue during question hour, Shah claimed that the minister has illegally occupied forest land measuring 13 kanals (1 kanal 0.8 acre). He said that a house committee should be constituted to probe the allegations. Shah said that anti-corruption body of the state, vigilance organisation, has already established the case against the minister. 'The minister should resign,' he demanded. Minister for forest Mian Altaf insisted that he would investigate the allegations against Mohideen but Shah said that the vigilance organisation had already investigated the case. The council chairman Amrit Malhotra described the issue as serious. 'The charges are against the minister. I would myself examine the issue,' he said. Mohideen later rebutted the charges and described them motivated. 'The land is under my occupation since 1971. It is 31 kanals. It is not forest land. Yes there are trees in the land but it doesn't mean it is forest land. Some people had gone to the Accountability Commission with the same allegations but the Commission didn't admit the case,' Mohideen told reporters. 'Ministers have now become prostitutes. Anyone can say anything against them and get away with it,' he said. Mohideen threatened to bring privilege motion against the member. 'In one of the board meetings, some months ago, the member behaved rudely and I threw him out of the meeting. Now he has levelled these wild allegations as an act of vengeance,' the minister said and added that if the allegations were proven, he would resign from the council of ministers. Mohideen is not the only Congress minister who is facing corruption charges. Earlier, two ministers had to resign after being accused of corruption and favouritism. In 2010 senior Congress leader and the minister of PWD G.M. Saroori had to resign from the state cabinet following reports that his daughter had passed a medical college entrance exam by arranging a proxy candidate to write the papers. This year minister for education and former state Congress chief Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed had to resign as education minister after he was indicted by the crime branch of J&K police for helping his son to qualify class 10 exam in 2009 through unfair means and impersonation. In 2008 Sayeed had to resign as education minister after MLA Shoaib Lone accused him of seeking a bribe of Rs.40,000 to clear his sister's file.