Sopore, Oct 9: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said her party was not demanding dismissal of state government but only the stepping down of Omar Abdullah and his MOS Home to facilitate a credible and transparent probe as fingers had been raised against them in the alleged corruption and death case. She said the Chief Minister should step down till the probe is complete and any other party person like Mustafa Kamal should be made in-charge CM.
Mehbooba said the recent incident involving Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's conduct exposes the dark side of his government and the ruling National Conference. Addressing party workers at Dak Bungalow Sopore, Mehbooba Mufti said, "The happenings at the chief minister's residence involving illegal transactions for political appointments and the death in mysterious circumstance of a family loyalist remove the façade of any commitment to people from the Abdullahs." The party under Dr Abdullah and Omar has become a huge liability and a source of embarrassment for the state, she said.
"How can justice prevail when the accused persons are in power? For the sake of fear trial Omar should step down till the probe is completed and let him make any other party person like Mustafa Kamal in-charge CM," said Mehbooba.
But unfortunately the family would not trust anyone outside the household even out of their senior most and loyal colleagues with leadership of the government, she pointed out. She said any probe done by any agency would lack credibility till those who have been accused by the family and witnesses hold on to power and in the process one more blow would be served against democracy and governance system in the state that have been constantly compromised by the NC.
Describing the corruption charges against Chief Minister and NC patron Farooq Abdullah a serious impeachment, Mehbooba Mufti said that whole country should strongly react to corruption in J&K.
"Entire country has shown concern over corruption and same concern should be shown for J&K also," Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba said the latest event only confirms what most people in the state always knew about the ruling family and the government they run in the state almost as a mafia. People have been suffering in silence or in protest without being able to get any reprieve from corruption, misgovernance and atrocities while the NC leadership assumes more arrogance and brazenness. "Instead of putting its house in order the NC ruling family is only adding to the decadence of the party by selling political jobs and institutionalising a stinking culture of corruption at all levels," Mehbooba said.
Mehbooba said death of Muhammad Yousuf represents the lowest point in NC's own history of deceit and duplicity. He was no ordinary person but had access to the chief minister and Dr Farooq Abdullah who facilitated his entry to places which are out of bounds even for the ministers not to speak of 'ordinary worker' or a 'crook' as Omar calls him after his death in order to distance the family from him.
While reacting to accusation that PDP is trying to destabilize the Government over the issue of corruption charges and the killing of NC worker, Mehbooba said that being the principal opposition party, it is the duty of the party to raise the issue as the charges are of grave concern.
"Corruption charges and the killing of NC worker had not been leveled by PDP but the family of the deceased who have accused that Syed Yousuf was killed in the illegal custody and claimed that not only Omar Abdullah or Farooq Abdullah but the whole Sheikh family is involved in corruption," she said.
"How can they deny proximity with deceased Syed Yousuf when he was spotted with chief minister Omar Abdullah in a chopper and shared stage even with Rahul Gandhi," added Mehbooba.
She said the PDP will carry on the campaign at people's level to create awareness among the people for a complete change and a burial of the culture of corruption and exploitation promoted by the NC for decades in order to ensure its own power and stuff family coffers. She said her party holds the interests of the state supreme and it would with the help of people and especially the youth change not just the system but the destiny of the state through democratic and peaceful means.
Mehbooba said the last three years have been the darkest period for the state as it witnessed a total reversal of the small progress we had made in achieving some transparency and accountability in governance. Corruption has once again been institutionalised at the chief minister's level and his coterie is running the state like a private estate, with even party members having to pay for mandates and a regular price tag attached to each job. She said with politicians having to pay to political bosses how are they expected to demand probity from officials who in turn have to amass illegal money to feed the system at the cost of common man who is the worst sufferer of this organised corruption and loot of public funds.
Pointing to the inefficiency of coalition government, Mehbooba said this dispensation inherited a booming state with unprecedented flow of funds in the shape of PM's economic package and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), PMGSY, MNREGA NUURM and other schemes but not a single project of significance can be attributed to it in three years. Compared to this the three years under the PDP represent a watershed in state's history with far reaching political and infrastructure initiatives having a direct impact on people's lives, she said while recounting that these had been achieved with just 16 MLAs for the party in its very first outing. She said NC had by contrast only exploited the people's emotions and public money whether it had 60 or 28 members in the Assembly.
Taking dig at the different women organization of the country, she said that it is not only the corruption charges but the way Chief Minister revealed the names of rape victims in Assembly against the Supreme Court judgment needs a strong reaction from the different social women's organization.
"Had such a thing happened in any other state of the country where the names of the rape victims would have been disclosed in the Assembly, women's organizations would have made hue and cry but no such organization raised their voice against such disclosure in J&K Assembly," she said.
Senior party leaders Qazi Muhammad Afzal, Abdul Rehman Veeri, State Secretary Javaid Hussain Beig, Dr Shahzad Asim and Zonal President Advocate Abdul Khaliq also spoke on the occasion.