HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Army ex-chief in trouble as J-K legislators move privilege motion

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 01, 2013
First Published: 00:35 IST(1/10/2013) | Last Updated: 00:37 IST(1/10/2013)

Jammu and Kashmir legislators, who met on Monday on the first day of the assembly session, brought a privilege motion against former army chief VK Singh on his statement on alleged army payments made to the valley's politicians.

Since this is a privilege motion, it has been given precedence over ordinary business but will not be debated. If the Speaker wants, Singh will have to be present in the assembly.

"The (ruling) National Conference has brought a privilege motion against Singh before the assembly," said state law and parliamentary minister Mir Saifullah.

Saifullah's announcement came as several legislators criticised Singh for his remarks and the government for the recent disclosures by the former army chief.

According to an internal army inquiry, published by a Delhi-based newspaper recently, Singh had paid state minister Ghulam Hassan Mir Rs. 1.19 crore in 2010 to topple the Omar Abdullah government. Mir denied having received money.

Later, Singh said that "it is an old practice, in vogue since 1947, to pay politicians in Jammu and Kashmir".

Accusing Singh of "damaging the prestige of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature", state finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather asked the assembly to direct the former army chief to come clean on people who received funds from the army.

"We are not going to leave Singh. We will make him stand in this house. He not only damaged the reputation of the legislature but of the army as well," he said.

The opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) too sought a discussion in the assembly on Singh's statement.

The party also moved a motion on civilian killings in the state.

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