‘Finance Minister, son wooing voters with cash, ration’

SRINAGAR: The opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday alleged that Finance Minister and his son are using money and ration to woo the people towards them in Charar-i Sharief constituency in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and has sought the intervention of Election Commission of India.

In a statement, the PDP’s senior leader and party’s candidate for Charar-i-Sharief Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura alleged that Abdul Rahim Rather, the state’s Finance Minister and National Conference,  has assigned the said job to his business man son Hilal Rather who according to Lone is distributing cash and ration among the voters in remote areas of Charari Sharief especially in Fresdab, Dhodkhatoo, Kandajan, Darwan, Nowgam, Batpora , Watkul , Kralgam, Kutbal and other far flung villages of the Chararisheif assembly constituency.

“Hilal along with a band of nearly 20 people have already distributed tons of rice which actually was meant for flood affected people of Srinagar and Budgam,” he alleged.

“The areas where Finance Minister Rather’s son Hilal has and is distributing the ration are hardly affected by floods. He has illegally provided this ration under the name of so called flood relief material. I appeal Election Commission of India (ECI) to probe this matter so that transparency prevails in the upcoming assembly elections. Otherwise people will lose faith in electoral process,” Nazir Ahmad Yatoo, another senior PDP leader from Charar-i-sharief constituency, alleged.

The PDP leaders have also alleged that ration was ‘looted’ from various godowns of Pulwama and Budgam and same was distributed among people in Chararisharief constituency just for the sake of getting votes.

They said the Finance Minister has distributed 10 kg rice per son in nearly twenty villages. “He is also misusing his powers and violating model code of conduct in convenience with local administration.” They said, adding a top PDD official from Budgam can be seen working like ‘Halqa’ president of Rather.

“Power Transformers are being sent to different villages and are being handed over to NC workers. To cite an example one transformer is kept in compound of chaudhary Ghulam Muhamma, Sarpanch Branwar. The second one in house of Muhammad Akbar Dar of Zahooma, third one in Dalipora in the house of Muzaffar Sofi,” they alleged.

The statement issued to GNS said: “Recent example of violation of model code of conduct is evident from Kathir village where a transformer was being unloaded from Tata mobile on yesterday and a National Conference flag was waived by NC workers, who were standing above the said power transformer. Doesn't it amount to political corruption?”

“Electric poles and conductor wires are being sent to different areas such as Watkul, Huladi etc for the sake of votes. Besides it cash is being distributed among voters of Charar-i-Sharief constituency at various places like Dhodkhatoo and Branpathri, Neegu , Jabbad , Kutbal etc,” Hanjura claimed.

“We are not against sending these power transformers to various villages. But why Rather has not allotted these transformers in last six years or before Model code of conduct came in to force. It is only because Rather has sensed the mood of people which is against him and National Conference. Rather is adopting these tricky moves to woo or entice voters. But today's voters especially youth understands these tricky moves and have decided to cast their votes in favour of PDP,” he said. 

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