NC seeks probe into diversion of chopper carrying PDP leaders

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Srinagar, Oct 25 (UNI) The National Conference (NC), the main opposition political party in Jammu and Kashmir, today said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a key ruling coalition partner, had ''mastered the art of cashing on human tragedies''.

In a statement here, an NC spokesman said the PDP leaders and Ministers had displayed ''extravaganza'' at the cost of the state exchequer, taking the advantage of human tragedy suffered by the people of Margi village in Warwan area of Kishtwar district.

He demanded a thorough inquiry in the change of route by a helicopter carrying PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Qarra to Margi village to lift a ''forcibly retired'' official from Kishtwar and then drop him back there before returning to Srinagar.

The spokesman said the chopper took off from Srinagar to assess the situation at Margi, where 160 houses were gutted and about 100 people wounded due to a devastating fire on the night of October 22.

''But, the helicopter changed its route and instead landed at Kishtwar to pick up former Rural Development Director Asghar Ali and then landed at Margi. The chopper again took off for Kishtwar to drop Ali and then returned to Srinagar,'' he claimed.

The spokesman further said the PDP leaders announced free ration to the affected families from the state exchequer to cash on the sentiments of the people in the hour of grief.

''The PDP has mastered the art of cashing in on human tragedies.

It is in the habit of making hue and cry and does nothing on ground for the sufferers. A journey which could have taken just 20 minutes actually took more than two hours,'' he alleged.

The spokesman said a person forcibly retired from the government service for the alleged acts of omission and commission by the state Cabinet was given a ''VIP treatment'' by the PDP leaders at the cost of the state exchequer.

''On the one hand Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is talking about transparency, good governance and people friendly policies, while on the other his cabinet colleagues and coalition partners are making merry at the cost of the state exchequer.'' He said Mr Azad's slogans were a ''big joke'' on the people who have suffered untold miseries for the past more than 17 years of turmoil in the state.

The development scenario in health, industries and power sectors has taken a nosedive while the unemployment increased manifold during the present regime and the people have become a ''football'' at the hands of coalition partners, the spokesman added.

''If the Chief Minister wants his slogans to be turned into a reality, he should immediately take corrective measures and order an inquiry into the entire episode,'' he said.


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