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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Payoffs row: J-K Speaker issues notice to VK Singh

Toufiq Rashid , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 24, 2013
First Published: 19:20 IST(24/10/2013) | Last Updated: 09:57 IST(25/10/2013)

The speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly on Thursday issued a notice to former army chief Gen VK Singh, asking him to explain his position regarding comments about payments being made to ministers of the state.

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The speaker, Mubarak Gul, has given Singh 20 days to reply.

In the recently-concluded session, the assembly had passed a one-line resolution against the former General, who is under fire for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Omar Abdullah government when he was in service. He is reported to have paid money to Ghulam Hassan Mir, agriculture minister in the Omar Abdullah government, to help him in the plot.

Gen Singh had denied the allegations, but told a Delhi-based TV news channel that the army paying Kashmir minister "was nothing new" and it had been happening since Independence.

"Army transfers money to all the ministers in Jammu & Kashmir... because there are various things to be done and ministers have to do so many things as part of the stabilising factor in the state and for organising various activities," he had told a news channel. Gen Singh said the jobs involve "bringing stability to a particular area".

"Kashmir is a different issue altogether. A lot of things are done where you work on civic issues and those pertaining to youth. For all this, money is needed. A certain amount of money is given for these works. Where is the problem?" Singh had said.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah had reacted sharply to Gen Singh's comments saying he had tarnished the image of pro-India political parties.

"Elections are round the corner and if the central government wants us to go to people with this bolt on our credibility, we might give whatever explanations. But how much will people buy (the explanation) needs to be seen," the CM had said.

A legislative assembly spokesman, in a statement, said the notice against Gen Singh has been issued "in response to a breach of privilege notice given by 15 ministers/members against him".

The spokesperson said Gen Singh has been given 20 days' time to explain his position in the matter so that further course of action could be decided under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the J&K legislative assembly.


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