Farooq denies bribery allegations

October 6th, 2011 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Oct 6 (IANS) Breaking his silence over the custodial death of a worker of Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling National Conference (NC) over allegations of bribery, party patron Farooq Abdullah Thursday denied that he or his party were involved in graft and asked the people to await the outcome of the judicial probe into the incident.

“It is a political stunt by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Let them say what they say,” the union minister said after chairing a meeting at the NC party headquarters here.

Farooq Abdullah’s comments came Abdul Salam Rishi, a key witness of the events leading to the Sep 30 death of NC worker Sayeed Muhammad Yousuf, pulled his name into the bribery scandal.

He told a TV channel that Yousuf had accepted taking a bribe from another NC worker Muhammad Yusuf Bhat. Rishi also alleged that Yousuf had taken the money as a political bribe paid finally to the NC patron for getting Bhat a minister’s berth.

Distancing himself from the allegations, Farooq Abdullah said: “I am not a party to this and I have nothing to do with this.”

“Let us wait for the outcome of the judicial probe and the truth would be known. I promise you that the PDP will have to apologise for these allegations also like they apologised for their past allegations against us.”

The visibly emotional minister added: “The PDP wants the NC government to disappear. They had assured support to the Congress after the 2008 elections if the Congress agreed to keep the NC out of the government.”

The elder Abdullah also defended his son, state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, saying: “Omar on his own decided to have the matter probed by a judicial inquiry.”

He denied that the NC had ever taken money for giving positions to party candidates.

“The MLAs and MLCs are here, go ask them if anyone of them has ever paid money…”

The PDP has been demanding the chief minister’s resignation maintaining the judicial probe won’t be impartial as long as Omar Abdullah continues as chief minister.

Omar Abdullah has categorically stated he would not resign either as the chief minister or as the home minister of the state.

The state government has requested the chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir high court to nominate a sitting judge to conduct the probe into the circumstances those led to the Yousuf’s death.

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