Opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah today extended a back-handed compliment to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, saying her victory in Anantnag bypoll was a foregone conclusion as he alleged “use of official machinery and violations of model code of conduct”.
Participating in the discussion on demand for grants for departments under the charge of the Chief Minister, Omar said “Elections you have won ... who said you will lose? How can you lose elections when government machinery has been used and model code of conduct has been violated?”
Omar said the Chief Minister should have been present in the House when the MLAs gave their suggestions during the debate on the grants for departments under her charge. He, however, said he could understand her absence in view of the bypoll to Anantnag assembly seat where Mehbooba is a candidate.
Mehbooba responded to his remarks with a dig, saying, “It is my election but it seems Omar is getting tension”. Omar immediately said he was concerned about the sanctity of the House than anything else.
“I have become a member of this House second time only but those who have had mutliple terms in this House tell me that it has never happened that Chief Minister was absent when the grants of his, or as it is now her, departments, were being discussed,” he added.
Mehbooba, while apologising to the House for her absence, said she had to canvass for her election as she could not take the voters for granted. “I cannot take the voters for granted even though I am the Chief Minister. I have to ask for their support,” she said.