Mehbooba talks alcohol in Assembly


SRINAGAR: To the Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu, the open sale of liquor in the state may be a matter of ‘freedom of choice’ but the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti in her address in the legislative assembly on Thursday highlighted the ills of liquor-drinking and other social problems confronting the youth.

Mehbooba was apparently criticising the members who, according to her, were raking unnecessary issues including the attempted suicide bid of the IAS officer, Yasha Mudgal. ““I am ashamed that the suicide attempt by a lady officer was raised by Lawmakers in the house,” Mehbooba said in her closing remarks in the Lower House as Legislative Assembly was adjourned sine die.

“The legislators should have raised and debated drug addiction and huge consumption of liquor,” she said.

Mehbooba’s use of ‘consumption of liquor’ phrase broke the silence of the House with a tenuous giggle that evoked many twisted smiles from some members.

Pertinently, Dr Drabu in his address on June 24 had ruled out the ban on the sale of liquor in the state. “There is a demand for banning liquor but I believe that the issue needs to be addressed on the basis of freedom of choice,” Drabu had said.

Predictably, the finance minister’s ‘right to drink’ utterances did not go down well with many in the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir where alcohol consumption is a taboo.

Many censured Drabu’s statement as according to them it ‘amounted to patronising the vices’. “It is unfortunate that while Bihar had taken reformative measures of banning the sale of liquor in Bihar, Jammu Kashmir, despite being a Muslim-majority state, was witnessing government patronage in its sale and consumption,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had said.

Mehbooba, who was in the thick of controversy regarding her utterances on Islam and monitoring the clergy, boasted her descent from a ‘preacher’ clan. “My grandfather was a great preacher of Islam who would preach in a manner that the birds in the trees would leave their chirping to listen to him,” she said in the House on Thursday.

She had, however, said ‘I’m ashamed as a Muslim’ following the killing of eight CRPF personnel in an ambush attack by militants last week prompting the controversial author Tasleema Nasreen to ‘congratulate’ Mehbooba for ‘speaking out the truth’.

The opposition National Conference had condemned her statement for drawing such an analogy.

Going by Mehbooba’s utterances on ‘the excessive use of liquor by the youth’, it remains to be seen whether Mehbooba Mufti who boasts her descent from a ‘Mufti’ clan would be able to deal with the rising drug use and alcohol consumption among the youth.

My Remarks On Clergy Were Distorted: Mehbooba

SRINAGAR: Clarifying her remarks on the clergy Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on the concluding day of the Budget Session 2016-17 in the State Assembly said, “I am proud to be a Muslim. My remarks on clergy were distorted to suit a particular narrative.”

“Clarifying” her remarks on the clergy, the Chief Minister said it is the social and moral obligation of the religious scholars who issue sermons in mosques to inform and educate people about the social evils prevailing in the society.

“I am proud to be a Muslim. My remarks on clergy were distorted to suit a particular narrative. My only regret is that in our society which has been gravely affected by social evils like drug addiction, corruption and environmental degradation, our clergy shies away from talking about such issues in their sermons. What stops them from issuing sermons on our dying water bodies, the menace of dowry and unabated use of polythene? Clergy commands respect in the society and they should discuss social evils in their sermons to motivate the people to wage Jihad against such social evils,” she said.

Expressing dismay over legislators’ repeatedly raising in the House the issue of a senior IAS officer allegedly involved in suicide attempt, Chief Minister said the lawmakers should have discussed more pressing issues like drug addiction than dwelling into the personal lives of the officers.

“Don’t get you private lives into public,” she told addressing legislators and bureaucrats. “Have some control on your actions,” she added.


Towards the conclusion of her speech, the Chief Minister appreciated the role of media during the Budget Session.

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