Ruckus in J&K Assembly over Farooq's remark

Ruckus in J&K Assembly over Farooq's remark

Ruckus in J&K Assembly over Farooq's remark

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah’s reported remark on power theft in Jammu and Kashmir led to pandemonium in the state assembly after opposition MLAs shouted slogans and staged a protest demanding apology from him.

The House saw protesting MLAs disrupting the question hour in the Legislative Assembly and later staging a walkout, besides independent MLA Engineer Rasheed Ahmed being marshaled out after a heated argument with some J&K ministers.

Members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Leader of Opposition in the assembly Mehbooba Mufti, along with Ahmed trooped into the well of the House and sought adjournment of the question hour to discuss the issue.

The remarks were reportedly made by Farooq, who is ruling National Conference chief and the father of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, at a function in Delhi Sunday last.

The union minister, however, Monday said he had been misquoted by the media. “I am sad that I was misquoted by the media. I had spoken about power,” Farooq told reporters here during a function.

“I had said that it is unfortunate that we buy power for nearly two-three thousand crore but we are not able to get that money back because there is a lot of pilferage of power. Many of our people are stealing power,” he said.

“It (pilferage of electricity) happens all over the country. The biggest transmission and distribution losses are in Jammu and Kashmir,” Farooq added. 

Amid pitched uproar and sloganeering, the House also saw verbal duals between NC members including ministers Surjeet Singh Salathia Bimla Luthra, Mohd Akbar Lone and Ali Mohmmad Sagar and PDP legislators and Rasheed over the issue.

Speaker Mubarak Gul later expunged the remarks from the proceedings due to the use of unparliamentary language. “Farooq Abdullah should apologise for his comment,” Mufti was heard saying in the din of the house.

Abdullah was quoted as saying at an event in Delhi on Sunday over the issue of power theft in the country, “People of Kashmir are not only thieves, but maha chors.”

However, on Monday he told reporters, “I had never said that Kashmiris are maha chors.” He alleged that since the elections were near, a newspaper tried to create misunderstanding in the minds of the people by publishing the comment.