'Omar should prove his innocence in cash-for-vote scandal'

Omar Abdullah
Jammu, Apr 17: Rejecting Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's "challenge" to the media to prove his complicity in the cross-voting in recent legislative council elections, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said the onus lied on him to establish his innocence.

"Onus is on Omar to establish his innocence. How could anyone other than the parties involved in the shady deal be privy to it?" she wondered.

In a statement issued here, Mehbooba said the frequent resignation offer has now become Omar's most preferred instrument to ward off all criticism on governance, human rights or corruption in his government.

"His challenge to the media to prove the case of cash- for-votes in the Council elections is more ''filmi'' (dramatic) than political," she said, adding that the chief minister as head of the ruling coalition that benefited from cross-voting needs to come clean on the scandal.

Mehbooba said the chief minister was insulting the intelligence of the people if he thought he would be taken for his word on the issue.

"It could shake the foundations of the multi-party democracy in a state that has still to go a long way in establishing the credentials of democratic institutions and for which the people are engaged in a serious and long struggle," he said.

Mehbooba said the voting scandal in Jammu and Kashmir had come at a time when the entire country was engaged in a soul searching over matters of political morality and integrity in public life.


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