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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Declare NC public authority: PDP to Omar

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, September 04, 2013
First Published: 19:15 IST(4/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:16 IST(4/9/2013)

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday described chief minister Omar Abdullah's support for bringing political parties under the ambit of Right to Information Act (RTI) "as meaningless utterances unless people know the details of the wealth amassed by the top leadership of ruling National Conference".

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"Nobody knows the factual position about the money being given to the NC top leadership in lieu of MLC seats and Haji Yousuf's death removed the lid from all such corrupt practices only partially," alleged PDP chief spokesman and MLC Naeem Akhtar.

He said if the NC is really sincere about transparency and accountability why the party doesn't declare itself as a public authority. "People can seek information from them about Haji Yousuf's mysterious death and the money that changed hands amongst the top party leadership. People want to know about the illegal financial dealings taking place within the ruling party," he claimed.

The PDP leader said the party needs to come clean on the source of wealth of its top leadership. "Will the party provide all such information under RTI Act to the people of state? Has the amount collected from various characters involved in the episode been returned to them," asked Akhtar.

He accused the NC of weakening the J&K RTI Act, 2009, by amending its rules in September last year. "The government has rendered State Information Commission (SIC) toothless by clipping the powers of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and also degrading the rank and status of the secretary, SIC, who under the previous RTI rules could only be appointed, if he was in the grade of a special secretary to the J&K government," he said.

Omar Abdullah, on Tuesday, had strongly supported the view of bringing political parties under the purview of Right to Information Act in an address made at the annual national convention on RTI Act organised by National Right to Information Commission in New Delhi.

"The CM, in his speech, spoke about the importance of Section 4 of RTI Act but even his own office has not adhered to it. The official website of the J&K government is defunct for three years. Can Omar Abdullah tell people what kind of voluntary disclosure the CM's office has made under Section 4 of RTI Act?" said Akhtar.

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