Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir on Wednesday said he would offer himself for an open, time-bound probe. The statement comes in the wake of remarks by former army chief Gen VK Singh that money was paid to ministers.
Gen Singh told a news channel Monday that money was paid to ministers in Jammu and Kashmir since independence for "winning people`s hearts".
Indian Express newspaper, in a report published Saturday, had said that an army inquiry had recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Technical Services Division (TSD) set up by Gen Singh which allegedly paid Rs.1.19 crore from the army`s secret funds to Ghulam Hassan Mir in 2010, when mass youth protests had rocked the state, to destabilise the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a signed letter to various local newspapers, television channels and wire services, Mir said: "Recently a concerted effort from various corners is being made to make a dent in my political integrity and popularity. The allegations levelled recently are politically motivated and absolutely false.
"I had been keeping quiet over the controversies raked up in the past few days, but now I am constrained to speak out as these controversies have not only sought to besmirch my personal reputation, but also humiliated the people with whose support I am where I am.
"I have been elected and have been a minister three times since 1984. No institution or agency can create popularity. I am neither a man of agencies nor that of any institution.
"Let me assert with all the force at my command that I have always stood for democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions. I do not need any certificate about my credentials. My people are the best judge of my character and performance.
"I cannot be cowed down by any falsehood being spread about me. I stand for the truth.
"If a fair probe is held, the truth will come out and I will stand vindicated. Therefore, I offer myself to an open and time-bound probe to look into these allegations".
Pressure is now mounting on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the top leadership of the Congress party for recalling Mir from the state cabinet.