Ruling National Conference MLAs today moved a privilege motion in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly against former army chief VK Singh for making allegations that money was paid to politicians in the state for getting certain jobs done.
Law and Parliamentary affairs minister Mir Saifullah, informed the House, which began its autumn session today, that National Conference members have moved a privilege motion against Singh.
Speaker Mubarak Gul said he has received the motion and will take a decision after going through it. "I have marked the motion to the Secretary (Legislative Assembly). I have not gone through it yet. Once I go through it, I will come back to the House," he said.
Although the proceedings were limited to obituary references for former legislators and staff of the House who passed away recently, the issue of alleged political pay offs by army to politicians in the state dominated the discussions. Finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather said the allegations made by Singh were uppermost in the minds of the members of the House as the former army chief has put the "esteem of the country, the legislature and its members at stake".
"This man has to be made to stand before the house and answer (for his claims). Privilege motion is the only way to bring him here and then proceed against him," Abdul Rahim Rather said. He said the former army chief has put the dignity of the army, which "we believe is a political", at stake.
He also mentioned that matter needs to be probed at all levels so that the former army chief explains his allegations. "Let him give the names" of the politicians who have received money, he said. "We are requesting the government of India and the prime minister for a thorough probe. There should be a threadbare discussion on it in the House and if anyone has taken money, he should face the music," he said.
CPI(M) MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami suggested that government bring a resolution to condemn the allegations made by Singh but it was opposed by National Panthers Party member Harsh Dev Singh and independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid. "What if money has been really paid?" Singh asked.
Earlier, Rashid said he failed to understand how the government can proceed against Singh when it has not been able to take any action cabinet minister Ghulam Hassan Mir, who is accused of taking money to topple the government. "There was some allegation against (Congress MLA and
then PWD Minister) GM Saroori and he was shown the door. But today you are not able to do anything," he said.