Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday accused the Speaker of Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta of being biased and blamed Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed for "sabotaging" his party's anti-beef ban bill and "undermining the powers of the State Assembly."
Talking to reporters after members of National Conference and Congress created ruckus in the House, Omar said they had moved an adjournment motion not to seek a debate on beef issue but to get answers from the government as to why the issue was taken to the Supreme Court.
"We wanted to know from the government (that) when the State legislature is fully empowered to discuss issues like beef ban, why the issue was taken to the apex court? I believe Chief Minister deliberately did it to save his chair and his government," said Omar, who is also NC's working president. "The Chief Minister has in the past referred issues like women's bill to the Supreme Court. Since then many Chief Ministers came and left, but there is no final word on the issue from the apex court." Omar said Mufti and his partners in the coalition chose the same route "in a bid to bury beef ban bills on the ground that the issue is sub-judice."
Instead of allowing the opposition to speak on the issue, the Speaker out-rightly rejected the bill, stating that Rule 258 suggests it can't be entertained because the matter is sub-judice. "We want to remind the Speaker that he is supposed to be the custodian of the House. But unfortunately he is completely biased as is seen from his stand today," Omar said.
He said his party had raised the issue in the House since legislature is fully empowered to discuss the beef issue. "But the government wants to muzzle the voice of the opposition. The Chief Minister has decided to disempower the Assembly which is the highest credible institution of the State, which is not acceptable to us," Omar said. "People have sacrificed a lot for this institution and we won't allow the Chief Minister to degrade the stature of the J&K Legislature."
He said the opposition will never resort to ruckus if the Speaker allows them to make their point. "Disruption of the House never benefits the opposition. But it seems that the Speaker is following one specific ideology and has decided not to allow us to raise issues of serious nature," Omar said. "The Speaker should stop behaving the way he is and should rise about politics."
The former Chief Minister said he had submitted a question whether the government has engaged some experts to defend Article 35A. "My question has been rejected on the pretext that the matter is sub-judice. I believe the government has decided to bury beef issue with the similar excuse," Omar said.
On how he sees the recent statement of Chief Minister that army's role was almost over, Omar asked that why Mufti and his party were silent when "I was the Chief Minister."
"Look even today forces are dying fighting militancy. You can't ask the forces to vacate Kashmir in one-go. This process has to be started by cutting their size for which steps need to be taken. Unfortunately, Mufti is not taking any such step," Omar said.