PDP minister, MLAs lock horn in assembly

Lower House Saturday erupted with uproar over National Food Security Act, with both Opposition and some PDP legislators cornering the government.

The House witnessed a verbal brawl between CAPD Minister Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, PDP MLAs, Muhammad Ashraf Mir (Sonwar), Javaid Mustafa Mir (Chadoora) and Yawar Mir (Rafiabad) during Question Hour in the ongoing Budget Session. Opposition members including NC MLA Ali Muhammad Sagar, Vikar Rasool of Congress and RS Pathania of BJP also attacked the minister over implementation on NFSA and “depriving people of ration”.

The minister was replying to written question asked by Sagar and supplementaries from other members of the House, including PDP legislators. While explaining the criteria for being eligible to ration as per NFSA, the minister accused the opposition for politicizing ration distribution as per NFSA and created fear among people over it.

“You have created confusion among people over ration distribution. What criteria have you adopted to leave out families from ration as per the Act,” PDP MLA, Ashraf Mir asked the minister. Zulfikar retorted by saying, “nayi nayi ministry gayi hai (Ministry was taken back from you). To this Javaid Mir said “ministry is not anybody’s property”.

Both Ashraf Mir and Javaid Mir were dropped from the council of ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti-led government. As heated arguments ensued among them, PDP minister Abdul Haq Khan pacified them all.

In his supplementary, PD MLA Yawar Mir shouted to Zulfikar that 24,000 souls have been left out of the ration as per NFSA.

“What kind of criteria is this that a person having 80 kanals of land is excluded and another person having 75 kanals is included for the ration? Sagar Sahab is right by questioning the food law,” Mir said.

In angry tone, he said that all the ministers will lose their portfolios if the confusion and wrongs in the Act are not cleared.  As the House erupted with commotion when Opposition and some PDP MLAs demanded discussion, the Speaker Assembly Kavinder Gupta assured that one-hour discussion will be held on NFSA.


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