‘Where was Shafi Uri during 2005 quake?’

Uri: Reacting sharply to the statement made by former NC minister Mohammad Shafi Uri regarding senior Congress leader and Health Minister, Taj Mohi ud Din, who is contesting from Uri described it as a tactic to hide his (Uri’s) incompetence.

Addressing a series of public meetings in Uri constituency during his electioneering, Choudhary Taj questioned where was Shafi Uri when the whole town was almost brought down by a massive earthquake in October 2005. He said it was he with active support of Congress high command who rebuilt the town brick by brick and continues to do so till date.

The Health Minister said Shafi Uri was also conspicuously absent when Bela, Boniyar was struck by flash floods recently which swept away huge infrastructure in the area. It was within days that connectivity was restored and Uri was the first place in Kashmir where compensation was paid within a week’s time.

Taj said people of the constituency have a right to ask how and where the MP fund allocated to Shafi Uri as Rajya Sabha member was spent and what percentage of it was spent in Uri. Before asking for votes, Shafi should answer this question, he added.

The Minister said development of Uri during the last 12 years is before the eyes of everybody and challenged Shafi Uri to compare it with the 40 years of rule he was having in the constituency since mid 70s. All he did was to build a road to his ancestral house in Garkote, Taj said.

Taj said, as against this a wide network of roads was laid during last 12 years, besides a huge infrastructure in the shape of schools, colleges, health centres, anganwari centres and block offices was raised in the constituency during this period. But he said Shafi won’t be knowing this because nobody knows when did he last travel through the constituency.

Terming Shafi as a `political tourist’ who comes for sightseeing during election season only and has no interest in the development of the area or its people, Taj said people of Uri have become wise enough whom he cannot take for a ride. People of Uri ask him why they were made to lag behind during his almost 40 years as MLA and Minster and he cannot hide his fault by calling someone as army agent, Choudhary Taj added.

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