Srinagar: Noisy scenes were seen in the legislative assembly after the treasury benches and Opposition cornered the government over the over National Food Security Act.
The House witnessed a verbal duel between consumer affairs and public distribution minister Choudhary Zulfikar Ali and his party colleagues Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Yawar Rafi Mir and Javaid Mustafa Mir during the Question Hour.
Opposition legislator Ali Mohammad Sagar raised the issue of curtailed ration after the implemention of the NFSA.
Not satisfied with Zulfikar’s response, who claimed only 6.5 lakh high income people have been excluded from the Act, Sagar said that above 27 lakh souls have been deprived of ration.
“It is misleading and baseless. Speak with God as your witness,” Sagar said.
Zulfikar accused the Opposition of politicizing the issue by creating fear among people over distribution of ration.
“How deletions were made to leave out the families,” Mir told the minister.
Iriked by his colleague’s question, Zulfikar retorted, “nayi nayi ministry gayi hai (are you angry that you are no more a minister”).
However, Javaid replied, “Ministry is not anybody’s property”.
As heated arguments ensued among them, PDP minister Abdul Haq Khan stood up from his seat and pacified Mir.
In his supplementary, PDP legislator Yawar Mir asked Zulfikar about the criteria adopted for excluding a person from availing ration.
“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,” he added.
The ministers will lose their portfolios if the confusion and wrongs in the Act are not cleared, he said. “No sugar is available at ration depots,” he said.
Later the speaker Kavinder Gupta assured them giving one-and a half hour for discussing the matter.