Giving jobs to Mafia, Goons might be a tradition in UP, not J&K: Mehbooba Mufti
Agitating job seekers gherao BJP J&K chief Raina in Jammu
Taking a swipe at lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha over his remark that political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir gave jobs to terrorists and their family members, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said it may be a tradition in his home state of Uttar Pradesh to give jobs to mafias and goons.
Responding to media queries during her Rajouri visit, where she also met families of Dhangri terror attack victims, Mehbooba said, “LG Sinha has come from Uttar Pradesh and there might have been a culture of giving jobs to mafia and goons, but not here. He must have had such an experience in UP.”
Sinha had on Monday, in a veiled attack on the National Conference, the PDP and the Congress, accused the previous J&K governments of giving jobs to terrorists. He had also claimed that one lakh back-door appointments of incompetent people were made, which badly affected the administration. He made this statement while speaking on the controversy over Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB).
On property tax, Mehbooba said, “I think imposing it (tax) here on the grounds that it is being levied everywhere in the country would be a grave injustice considering the prevailing situation of J&K.” “The price of LPG cylinders has skyrocketed and inflation is on a rise. On one hand, houses are being demolished and on the other, you are imposing property tax on remaining houses,” she added.
Earlier at a public rally, she recalled how people of J&K faced a really difficult time during militancy and how her late father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, during his tenure as the chief minister, brought a positive change in Jammu and Kashmir.
“You might remember how militants used to come at night, storm into houses and demand food at gunpoints. Then would come the armymen, who used to abuse and beat you up for giving food to the militants. That was a very difficult time. At that time, my father left the Congress and formed the PDP. It was not a easy job then. He removed Prevention of Terrorism Act, opened LoC roads for border trade with Pakistan and Indo-Pak talks started. There was a positive impact on the situation of J&K,” she added.
Mehbooba also recalled that during her tenure as the chief minister, she wrote a letter to Hurriyat, apprising them about the visit of a high-powered team from Delhi to meet them. “But unfortunately, Hurriyat leaders didn’t open their doors for them,” she added.
Meanwhile, BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit president Ravinder Raina was on Tuesday gheraoed by agitating job aspirants at the power department’s office in Gandhi Nagar here when he went to deposit his electricity dues.
The department had recently disconnected power connection of his government bungalow at Gandhi Nagar due to non-payment of arrears. Raina deposited the power arrears at the office and described it a technical error that caused the confusion, but was later gheraoed by the angry aspirants.
The job seekers were furious over hiring of a formerly blacklisted agency by the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) to conduct computer-based written examination for government jobs and a subsequent tweet of Raina wherein he had endorsed the demand of the youth, who had sought a CBI probe into corrupt practices of the tainted firm, but deleted it within half an hour.
“Raina had recently tweeted about CBI probe into the corrupt practices of Aptech, but deleted it within 30 minutes under some pressure. Why he did so? We want to know,” said a youth, who didn’t wish to be named.
Raina later tried to pacify the youths and said he has spoken to JKSSB chairperson Rajesh Sharma. “I fully understand the issue of the agitating youths. However, LG Manoj Sinha has said that since many most of the admit cards have been distributed, if the process is stopped at this moment then recruitment may suffer for three to four months. Having said so, I feel that our youths should be heard and convinced that no corruption or unethical practices will be allowed,” he added.
Raina recalled how in the police sub-inspector recruitment scam, the LG had handed over the case to CBI and over 20 guilty persons were arrested. “I assure that no corruption will be allowed and if there is any in Aptech agency, the guilty will be jailed,” he added.