SRINAGAR: Notwithstanding the claims of transparency and fairness, almost all the candidates fielded by the Congress in the Assembly polls are tainted.
Former education minister Peerzada Syed was found helping his foster son in the matriculation examination a few years ago. He was also an accused in panchayat electrification scam. It was learnt that Omar Abdullah had intended to remove him from the council of ministers, but the Congress high command resisted, forcing Omar to retain him. However, he was stripped of education portfolio. Peerzada has been fielded from Kokernag constituency.
The party has a former counter-insurgent, Usman Majeed, in its ranks. Another candidate happens to be the son of the father of counter-insurgency, Muhammad Yusuf alias Kuka Parrey.
Although he (Imtiaz Ahmad Parray) has been repeatedly apologising for the wrongs committed by his father, but the Ikhwaan baggage is still there on his shoulders and it has not helped the party in any way. In August this year, Imtiaz was booked on charges of assaulting a lady doctor at Community Health Centre, Hajin.
Usman and Imtiaz are Congress candidates from Bandipora and Sonawari constituencies respectively.
Another Congress minister, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, was the prime accused in the 2005 infamous sex scam and spent several months in jail. He was named by the kingpin of the racket, Sabeena. However, he was acquitted by a Chandigarh court as no witness turned up. He is Congress candidate from Dooru constituency.
The health minister, Shabir Khan, was in news for molesting a lady doctor early this year. He went into hiding for some time and managed a bail in anticipation of arrest.
Yet another senior leader and candidate from Rafiabad constituency, Abdul Gani Vakil, was recently in news after a phone conversation, in which he was purportedly inviting a girl to visit his place for sex in lieu of government employment. The girl had agreed to visit him in the first week of November, the purported conversation reveals. Vakil denied the phone conversation as a fabrication.
Besides, various anti-graft bodies are investigating involvement of several Congress leaders in scams. These include Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Gulchain Singh, Mangat Ram Sharma and Abdul Majid Wani.