Mehboob vs Mehbooba fight intensifies

SHABIR AHMAD
ANANTNAG: The issue of re-filing of nomination papers by People’s Democratic President (PDP) president and the party’s candidate for parliamentary Anantnag seat, Mehbooba Mufti, seems to be snowballing into a major controversy with the sitting MP and her arch rival Mehboob Beg seeking investigation by the Election Commission.
“Mehbooba misused her position and managed a fresh bank account despite closure of banks the day she filed her nomination papers for the first time. I have already written to the Election Commission demanding investigation into the matter. My party too has lodged a complaint with the Commission in this regard,” Beg told reporters at a news conference here on Saturday.
On Thursday last, Mehbooba had to face an embarrassing situation after she failed to produce a fresh election expenditure account while filing her nomination papers. It was only after more than three hours that her party MLAs who were accompanying her managed to get account details though the banks were closed on account of bank holidays.
The issue gave ammunition to her opponent Mehboob Beg who instantly lodged a complaint with the Election Commission demanding how she managed to open a fresh account despite closure of banks.
Following the complaint, Mehbooba on Friday again appeared at Deputy Commissioner’s office Anantnag and filed her nomination papers afresh. “Though there was nothing wrong with my bank account I had produced earlier, I did not want to take any chance or create any confusion. So I decided to submit fresh set of papers. It is the choice of the Returning Officer now which set of papers he considers,” Mehbooba had told reporters after filing her nomination papers afresh.
But questioning the role of the Returning Officer and other election officers, Beg said their role should also be investigated into. “I demand  investigation into the role of the Returning Officer and other officers who accepted her bank account which she had managed by misusing her position,” Beg said.
“Why the election officers did gave her three hours to manage the account and made other candidates to wait outside? How was she given such a VIP treatment and the candidates of other parties treated badly,” Beg asked. He said that the ECI should take a serious note of all these things. “I appeal ECI to conduct the proper scrutiny of the both set of papers filed by Mehbooba Ji,” Beg said.