J&K minister threatens action against council chai

J&K Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din told media persons that Legislative Council Chairman Amrit Malhotra was behaving "like a monkey" and giving him powers was "like giving the monkey a razor".

Jammu: Congress leader and Jammu and Kashmir Public Health Engineering Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din on Wednesday said he would seek action against party colleague and Legislative Council Chairman Amrit Malhotra for ordering a probe against him in a land grab case.

"Amrit Malhotra poses danger to the party (Congress) as well as the Congress-National Conference (NC) coalition government in the state," said Taj, adding that he would request the Congress as well as the ruling ally National Conference to bring in a no-confidence against Malhotra.

Terming as "unconstitutional" the probe against him, the minister told media persons here that Malhotra was behaving "like a monkey" and giving him powers was "like giving the monkey a razor".

He said the land in question was not a forest land but the state government`s land. "I am in possession of this land for the last 30 years and have applied for the transfer of ownership in my name under the Roshni Act."

The Roshni Act was passed by the J&K government in 2007. It allows transfer or leasing out of state land to a occupant after payment of a certain amount decided by a competent authority.

In October this year, legislative council member and Panthers Party leader Rafiq Ahmad Shah alleged that Taj has illegally occupied a forest land in Shopian district and presented some documentary evidence to support his claim.

Subsequently, Malhotra constituted a five-member house committee to probe the allegations against the minister.

However, the legislative council chairman dissolved the probe panel two days ago after the NC last week pulled out its two legislators from the committee.

"I had constituted the committee in good faith to investigate the allegations and bring facts to light. There was no question of any mala fide interest or any personal angle to this issue. Against this background, I am convinced that the continuance of the committee would not serve any purpose," Malhotra said while dissolving the panel.

Malhotra told a news agency that he was empowered to constitute the house committee and also dissolve it as it became ineffective. "The minister is free to bring in no-confidence against me," he said.


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