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MLAs who defect should be banned from contesting for 1 term: Omar

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Targets BJP over alleged illegal construction by Speaker's family

Srinagar, May 16: Former chief minister Omar Abdullah today said MLAs who switch parties should be banned from contesting elections for one term in order to prevent horse-trading in the event of a hung house.

He was apparently referring to the post-poll situation in Karnataka where the BJP has staked claim to form the government despite being eight short of simple majority.

On the other hand, JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy also has staked claim to form the government with Congress’ support as the two parties have a combined strength of 115 MLAs.

“Simply disqualifying defecting MLAs isn’t enough to stop horse trading since most of them come back with a mandate of their newly-discovered party. They should be barred from fighting elections for a period of not less than one term,” he tweeted.

The National Conference leader also defended the Congress’ tactics in Karnataka, reminding the critics about the role played by the BJP in Goa and Manipur last year.

“Whether the Congress manages to form a government by supporting JD(S) or not, they shouldn’t be criticised for trying. The BJP would be doing exactly the same thing if the positions were reversed,” Abdullah said.

“What about the other states where the BJP sneaked in through the back door? What’s sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander,” he said.

In a separate tweet Omar Abdullah also targeted the BJP over the issue of alleged illegal construction near an Army ordnance depot in Nagrota by the wife of J&K Legislative Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh.

“Dear @BJP4India the Indian Army is moving court against the J&K Speaker’s (until recently Deputy CM) wife & yet we hear nothing from you about these anti-national people who are a threat to national security. May I ask why? (sic),” Abdullah said in a tweet.

The former chief minister was reacting to a report that Army had filed contempt proceedings in the High Court after Mamata Singh, wife of Nirmal Singh, did not stop the construction of the house near the defence installation at Nagrota.

The Army had in March this year written a letter to then deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh to stop construction work as it was within the prohibited zone. The Army later approached the High Court to get the construction work stopped.

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