Yet another politician from the Jammu and Kashmir valley is going to face the heat in the days to come. After Mehbooba Mufti’s fall, her primary opposition party too is going to face challenges. This time it is from the ranks of National Conference (NC), former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a charge sheet against the former CM and current Member of Parliament in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association case. The charge sheet filed by the CBI against Abdullah and three others, alleges misappropriation of Rs. 43.69 crore worth of funds. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had given Rs. 120 crore in between 2002 and 2011 to the J&K cricket association of which Rs 43.69 crore was ‘siphoned off’. Farooq Abdullah was the J&K Cricket Association President when the funds had been given and when they had been allegedly polished off. A CBI official said, “ The charge sheet also names the then Association general secretary Mohammad Salim Khan, treasurer Ahsan Ahmad Mirza and J&K Bank executive Basheer Ahmad Misgar.”
The FIR in this regard was registered way back in September 2012 at a Srinagar police station and investigations had been carried out under the state investigating agencies. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had in 2015 issued a directive that the CBI should be made the investigating agency in this matter owing to the large amount of sum involved and the political connectivity of the accused. In the charge sheet filed by the CBI, the agency has contended that the Association president had ‘connived’ with the treasurer and other in ‘misappropriation’ of funds. This charge sheet and the CBI’s handling of the case would prove to be troublesome for the NC senior leader. His party is already facing tough challenges in his home state and a dent in the image of the senior most leader would not help them in any way. Omar Abdullah, his son and the CM candidate from NC too would have to face the heat owing to the CBI chargesheet and accusations levied against his father.
A NC spokesperson said, “The rank and file of the party draws inspiration from Dr. Abdullah’s resolve to fight earnestly for the truth to be upheld and continues to fully support him in this endeavour”. Farooq Abdullah who is currently in London also issued a statement saying, “I have full faith in the judicial system and re-assert my commitment to cooperate with the court’s proceedings in the matter relating to certain financial transactions.” While these statements look promising, the CBI enquiry will definitely take its toll on the enthusiasm and morale of the party workers. It will also give BJP and other opposition parties a topic to be used against the party in the upcoming elections. News from cricket, politics and bollywood take up a large portion of the prime time news in India, the involvement of two of these will be hotly debated in the days to come.
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