Jammu: Former speaker and National Conference legislator from Sonawari, Mohammad Akbar Lone, on Saturday cornered PDP-BJP government for engaging a non-state subject as consultant in transport department.
Lone was supported by his party and Congress legislators who sought an enquiry into the one-year engagement of Anuj Malhotra as consultant. Malhotra is a resident of Delhi and has been working in transport sector for 17 years.
“Why was a non-local engaged by the government? Was there no able officer who could have done the work? Or is he any RSS agent?” Lone asked while flaunting a copy of the engagement order.
The RSS remark enraged BJP’s Sat Sharma who stood up and sought expunging the word. “RSS ka koi agent nahi hota (RSS does not have agents),” Sharma told the house.
To this, Lone replied, “ok, no issues: Is the transport consultant an agent of BJP then?”
He also reminded Sharma of public statement made by speaker Gupta that he was an RSS man.
It forced education minister Altaf Bukhari to intervene. “He may be an RSS man but he belongs to no political party in this house as he is speaker,” he told Lone. “Yes, he is speaker.”
Gupta too seconded the duo. “I am speaker in the house and belong to none. But, yes, I am from RSS.”
After perusing the order copy, MoS Transport told Lone. “The consultant has been engaged by the GAD (General Administration Department).”
Lone asked the speaker to direct the government to explain as why a non-state subject was engaged as a consultant by the government.
The NC MLA also told the MoS transport that he had not cleared appointment of some persons from a particular community “which needs to be done immediately”.
“There is a file pending in your office for last one year,” he told Sharma, “do clear that.”