Jammu: A Congress MLA on Monday alleged that his constituency had been discriminated against in the matter of distribution of solar lights and sought the resignation of Jammu and Kashmir minister Feroz Ahmed over the matter before staging a walkout from the Assembly.
Congress MLA GM Saroori, the legislator from Indrawal constituency in Kishtwar district, said that minister Feroz Ahmed had diverted the entire allocation of solar lights and solar cookers to one constituency.
"You (Ahmed) should resign for being discriminatory and distributing solar lights in the constituency of one MLA (belonging to NC party)," said Saroori. Ahmed is the Minister of State for Science and Technology.
Saroori exchanged strong words with Ahmed who, for his part, promised a probe in the matter. But, not satisfied by the reply, Saroori staged a walkout from the House.
The Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (which is headed by National Conference leader Dr Farooq Abdullah) had sanctioned 10,000 solar lights, each valued at Rs 12,000, and 6,000 solar cookers, costing Rs 6,000 each, for Kishtwar district, Saroori later told reporters while alleging that discrimination was done over the distribution of the said items.
"My constituency (Inderwal) is also part of Kishtwar district; but all 16,000 solar lights and cookers have been shifted to Kishtwar Assembly segments and being distributed among the workers of a party," Saroori said.
He claimed that 10 percent of the cost of the solar cookers had even been borne by him from his Constituency Development Fund.
Meanwhile, an opposition PDP member from Kishtwar alleged that solar cookers were distributed amongst NC workers in the district despite assurances by the state government.
The issue was raised by Sayed Asgar Ali of PDP soon after Question Hour began today in the Legislative Council. The PDP member alleged that the solar cookers were distributed in the district at the behest of NC leaders and in sheer violation of rules. Ali sought directions from the Chair in the matter and also called for the constitution of a House Committee for the purpose.
Minister in-charge of Planning and Development, Ajay Sadhotra, then stood up and assured that the government would look into the matter.
Meanwhile, responding to the charges of discrimination, the MoS Home and Industry, Sajjad Kishloo, who, too, hails from Kishtwar, stood up and said that no such violations had taken place and it was a committee headed by a Deputy Commissioner which was monitoring the distribution.
Ali said that he would bring in a privileged motion in connection with the matter, to which the Chairman replied that he was free to do so while pointing out that the government had already given its response on the issue.