Accusing Legislative Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta of being biased towards opposition, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday blamed Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed of sabotaging the beef bill and undermining the powers of the Assembly as an institution. According to KNS correspondent Omar while talking to reporters in JK Assembly said, “It is not the opposition but it is the Speaker, through his actions and words not allowing the House to function. Our conduct in the House depends on the conduct of the Speaker,” Omar said that to save his government, the Chief Minister is disempowering legislature. “National Conference had had moved an adjournment motion not to seek debate on beef issue but to get answers from the government as to why the issue was taken to Supreme Court. We wanted to know from the government when State legislature is fully empowered to discuss the issues like beef ban, why the issue was taken to the apex court. I believe, Chief Minister deliberately did it to save his chair and the government,” he said. Omar said that Mufti and his partners in the coalition cited the beef issue as sub-judice in a bid to burry beef ban bills. “Instead of allowing the opposition to speak on the issue, the Speaker out rightly rejected the bill stating that rule 258 suggests the bills can’t be entertained. We want to remind the Speaker that he is supposed to be the custodian of the House. But unfortunately, he is totally biased as seen by his stand today,” Omar said. The NC working president said that his party had raised the issue in the House with an intention that legislature is fully empowered to discuss the issue. “But government wants to muzzle the voice of opposition. The Chief Minister has decided to disempower the Assembly which is the highest credible institution of the State, which is not acceptable to us,” Omar said. “ Omar said they were protesting against the “dictatorial practices” of the Speaker, who had earlier said that he would not allow any such bill. “Today, unfortunately, our protest was against the dictatorial practices of the Speaker”. The former Chief Minister said that he had submitted a question to know whether the government has engaged some experts to defend article 35A. “My question has been rejected on the pretext that the matter is sub-judice. I believe the government has decided to burry beef issue with the similar excuse,” Omar said. On how he sees the recent statement of Chief Minister Mufti that army’s role was over, Omar said that he wonders why Mufti and his party were silent when I was the Chief Minister.“Look even today forces are dying fighting militancy. You can’t ask the forces to vacate Kashmir in one go. This process has to be started by cutting their size for which steps need to be taken. Unfortunately, Mufti is not taking any such step,” Omar said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch