J&K Speaker 'throttling' voice of opposition: Omar

J&K Speaker 'throttling' voice of opposition: Omar

Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today accused the Speaker of state legislative assembly of being "biased" and "throttling the voice of the opposition", adding that the beef ban issue be handled by the legislature instead of judiciary.

"We (National Conference) are not the ones that are not allowing the House to function normally. It is the Speaker who is not allowing the House to function. The Speaker, through his statements and actions, has shown that he is not the custodian of the House.

"The custodian of the House is supposed to rise above politics, cast, creed, religion and all other biases. Look at his recent statements, his interviews to the media and you will see that we unfortunately have the most biased speaker," he told reporters here.

Omar, the working president of opposition National Conference (NC), was speaking to media after his party legislators created a ruckus inside the assembly over the issue of beef ban, which led to adjournment of the House today.

He noted that the Opposition brought an adjournment motion because it wanted to know the reasons behind referring the beef ban issue to the Supreme Court when it was within the competence of the state legislature.

"Why has the state government dis-empowered this legislature by referring this matter to the Supreme Court? Simply, because this government wants to survive.

"This Chief Minister is happy to disempower himself on every issue. In his previous government, he took the Women's Bill, which was the Permanent Residence Bill. He took that and referred it to the Supreme Court. It is still pending there," he said.

The NC leader said it is important to raise the issue of the beef ban in the context of "conduct of the state government" viz-a-viz referring it to the Supreme Court.

"We want that this beef ban issue be handled by the legislature... If the speaker had allowed us to explain the reasoning behind our adjournment motion, the scenes you saw in the house would not have been created," he said.

He reiterated that the party's conduct in the house will depend on the conduct of the Speaker.

Omar said the government wanted to throttle the voice of the opposition by giving the excuse of the matters being subjudice.

"I had a question on (Article) 35-A, which is a crucial issue for the future of the state. My question was rejected because the office of the Speaker claimed that the matter is subjudice. This is exactly what they want to do with the beef ban and they want to throttle us," he added.

The Supreme Court meanwhile today suspended for two months a controversial court order for enforcing a legal bar on the sale of beef in Jammu and Kashmir while asking the Chief Justice of J-K High Court to set up a three-judge bench to decide on two conflicting orders on the issue.

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