Majid Kapra

KVIB recruitment: NC demands judicial probe

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PDP mocks at NC’s ‘misinformation campaign’; tells party to ‘look inwards

Srinagar, Feb 26: Opposition National Conference on Monday demanded judicial probe into the appointment of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s cousin and PDP vice-president’s son as Executive Officer in autonomous Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB).

Addressing a press conference at Nawai Subh here, NC spokesman Junaid Azim Matoo and political advisor to party’s working president Omar Abdullah, Tanveer Sadiq criticized ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for “providing undue benefits to party workers and relatives”.

The opposition leaders said that “the erosion of constitutional sanctity forces Kashmiri youth to take to arms as their aspirations have been murdered by showering benefits to PDP workers and close relatives of ministers”.

They said the schemes meant for the eligible people are used for the benefit of the minister’s kin activists of ruling party only.

“A magisterial probe needs to be conducted into the recent appointment of CM’s immediate cousin Aroot Madni as Executive Officer at KVIB,” Matoo.

He also alleged that junior Madni had submitted fake certificates for the job. “The certificates Aroot Madni had submitted were fake, this is what has forced him to quit now; there is no other reason for him to quit the job,” alleged Matoo.

He asked the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to respond in person regarding discrepancies in KVIB and also apprise people whether “wife of her cousin” was appointed in Jammu and Kashmir Bank or not.

“It is the failures of the present dispensation which forces the youth to take arms in their hands as they were pushed to wall,” he alleged.

He also besides KVIB such backdoor appointments have also been made in JK Sports Council, ICDS and Wakf Board.

He alleged that “Jammu and Kashmir Bank has become treasure trove for PDP workers who irrespective of qualification are appointed there on the orders of ministers.”

Matoo said qualified and meritorious candidates have been deprived while blue-eyed are given preference.

“Qualified and meritorious candidates are deprived of their rights and forced to run form pillar to post, while blue-eyed people are given preference. It is unfortunate that those who sought vote for change have ruined the career of thousands of qualified due to government’s anti-youth policy,” Matoo added.

He said NC will come up with proof to justify their claims as to how the PDP uses government departments for the benefit of their workers and ministers’ relatives.

He also alleged that the poor employees working under SRO-220 have been deprived of their salaries while the “workers of PDP takes handsome salaries not les than 40k per month under the same scheme.”

Matoo termed SRO-220 as SRO-420 which he said is used to be benefit kith and kin of PDP functionaries and its ally BJP’s ministers and activists.

Asking Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to answer these questions, the NC leaders said that the government is fooling the people, especially youth on one pretext or other.

Tanveer Sadiq, while lashing out at PDP said the answers to the questions raised by them shall be given by no one less than the Chief Minister.

“First of all, we demand nothing less than magisterial probe into the issue. All those questions we raised here should be answered by the CM herself because it concerns family members,” Sadiq added.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday hit out at the National Conference for its “misinformation campaign” on KVIB recruitments and reminded it of shady recruitments in different government departments involving close kith and kin of NC leaders.

PDP said it was for the first time in the history of J&K that a Chief Minister has ordered a probe into the recruitments within 24 hours after it came under doubts -- unlike the past practice where a Chief Minister defended backdoor appointments several times on the floor of the Legislature.

In a statement, PDP MLC Firdous Ahmad Tak asked NC leadership to go for introspection before casting aspersions on others.

“Those who have been raising fingers on us must explain to the people about the backdoor appointments National Conference and its leaders made for years, and shamelessly made its Chief Minister to defend the same on the floor of house,” Tak said.

“The State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) had established 37 illegal appointments in the state legislative assembly made by three ex-Speakers including two from NC,” Tak alleged while referring to the “backdoors appointments made by the NC”.

“Out of these 37 appointments, 28 appointments were made by the former Speaker alone. Where was the conscience of the party leaders at that time?” he asked.

He further reminded NC of statement made by the former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah when he had asked the PDP to seek intervention of the SVO or State Accountability Commission (SAC) on the issue of backdoor appointments in Jammu and Kashmir Bank.

“Omar Abdullah did not muster courage to order a probe into the illegal appointments made by his government in the bank. When issue was raised in State Legislative Assembly Mr. Abdullah on June 14, 2014 preferred to give sermon to PDP, asking it to approach SVO, SAC to file the compliant for investigation. This is what the NC leadership only could do,” he said.

Tak said Omar Abdullah had himself on the floor of the Assembly on March 29, 2012 admitted illegal appointments and illegal regularization of employees in Housing and Urban Development department were made during his rule.

“Yes, I know 407 people have been illegally engaged in the Housing and Urban Development department through backdoor beside illegal regularisation of 225 persons. I am admitting on the floor of the house but this what it is,” Tak quoted Omar Abdullah as having said in the Assembly.

This, he said, is the same leader who is today questioning the present Chief Minister merely on the ground that son of her party leader has made it to the merit list.

“The NC government also recruited around 104 persons through backdoor means in various public sector undertakings from 2008 to 2014,” Tak alleged.

“Most of those recruited are kith and kin of senior National Conference leaders. If the party wants it, the list can be made public to ascertain the facts,” he said.

“They (NC) have no moral rights to question a government which has delivered effectively and ensured transparency, accountability and fairness in every sphere of life,” the PDP leader claimed, adding that it was sheer desperation of NC leaders that has forced them to take “illegal and immoral ways” to find faults in the PDP-led government.

“The present Chief Minister has shown the basic instincts and guts of having a transparent and fair system by ordering a high-level probe into the matter. This is for the first time in the history of J&K that a Chief Minister has ordered a probe into the recruitments after fingers were raised on senior leaders of his or her party. Transparency and accountability in the system is the bedrock of this government and once again Ms. Mehbooba Mufti has shown the way,” Tak said.

He said the candidate (Arot Madni) withdrew his candidature from the post despite the fact that it was not a backdoor appointment.

“As a son of the party’s honest leader, the candidate withdrew his candidature and let the case to an open investigation to ensure a fair probe,” he said.

“There was no backdoor appointment, no favouritism and no shoddy deals like those in the era of National Conference where affiliations, kickbacks and favouritism were the only criteria”, he said.

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