Cong blackmailed us to give land to shrine board: J-K Dy CM
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In a revelation that is set to create a storm in Jammu and Kashmir and further strain relations between its ruling partners, Deputy Chief Minister and PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beig has accused two senior Congress ministers of "blackmailing" them into transferring forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board.
He said while the PDP was against the transfer of land, Congress ministers Mangat Ram Sharma and Gulchain Singh Charak threatened to stop work on the Mughal Road — providing an alternative link between the Valley and the rest of the country — if this was not done.
"Two of our ministers had openly opposed the transfer of land to the board," Beig said in an interview to a local news agency, Kashmir News Service. "However, the Congress blackmailed us and the two senior Congress ministers threatened that they would stop the construction of Mughal road if the PDP continued to object to the transfer of land."
The PDP leader said that since the Mughal Road was an important road link, they compromised.
Beig added that the "story" behind the Governor, who is the head of the shrine board and who had demanded the land transfer, would be completely exposed. "I know my responsibility and that is why I have lifted the curtains from this," he said.
While the ties between the PDP and Congress have been on the downslide, Beig's revelation is being seen as an attempt by the PDP to strengthen its vote bank in the Muslim-majority Valley, which was against the transfer of land to the shrine board.
The Deputy Chief Minister said Sharma and Charak told the PDP that a "give and take" was needed to save the Mughal Road project. "When the Governor suggested the transfer of land to the Government, we opposed it," he said. "When this issue was discussed in the Cabinet, we again opposed it. Then Congress ministers Mangat Ram Sharma and Gulchain Singh Charak threatened to stop work on the Mughal Road."
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