Srinagar, June 16: Opposition Congress and National Conference today staged a walkout from the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to protest the alleged use of money power in the by-poll to Anantnag seat where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is a candidate.
As soon as the Question Hour ended, Congress leader Nawang Rigzin Jora informed the Speaker Kavinder Gupta that police had on Tuesday evening seized a private car and found Rs 58 lakh in it at Ashajipora in Anantnag district.
"During questioning, one person on board identified himself as an employee of Jammu and Kashmir Bank posted at Ashajipora branch," he said.
Jora claimed that police contacted the Manager of the branch who confirmed that the money belonged to the bank and was being transfered to the chest. "There is a set protocol to be followed while moving the cash to the chest. It is done in an official vehicle... Why was it being done in the night?" he asked.
Jora demanded that the Speaker order an inquiry into the matter as it seems that the government was "distributing the money to buy votes" for the June 22 by-poll for Anantnag Assembly seat.
The Congress leader found support from his party and National Conference members as well. Mehbooba Mufti is locked in a multi-cornered contest in Anantnag where the by-poll was necessitated by the death of then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
CAPD Minister Zulfikar Ali intervened saying the opposition was making "baseless charges". "The election process is carried out under the direct control and supervision of the Election Commission of India.
If they have any proof, they should bring it forth. But they have no proof," Ali said. An agitated opposition shouted slogans against the government and staged a walkout from the House.