Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday acknowledged the effect of Aam Aadmi Party on national politics and prayed for change within his party. While he claimed that the National Conference had a similar ideology on corruption, he said AAP’s ideology has not been rejected by the people, and could impact the State. “The fact is, whether we like or dislike it, a new political atmosphere, a new political wave has started in the country, the name of which is Aam Aadmi Party,” Mr.Abdullah said.
“Whether AAP will come or not come to Jammu and Kashmir, their ideology has not been ignored or rejected by the people. People want corruption and bribe-taking to be stamped out. People want politicians and bureaucrats to not fleece the common people. Ours is the same ideology,” Mr.Abdullah claimed.
“Corruption is eating up into the vitals of the State and common man is worried about corruption. I hope that in a changing (political) situation, people like us should change their ideology,” the NC leader told a gathering of Vijaypur in Samba district. While stating that the people were not affected by “big corruption scams”, but by the small bribes paid to get ration card, driving licence, and so on, Mr.Abdullah said his government had brought in a number of laws to fight the issue. “I have seen that big scams and corruption cases do not affect you. You get affected when you have to pay a bribe to get the ration card, a licence of a vehicle, papers of lands, copy of FIR or NOCs. We have brought a number of anti-corruption laws in Jammu and Kashmir and if they are implemented, there will definitely be a decrease in corruption,” he said.
Mentioning legislations such as Public Services Guarantee Act, Right to Information Act, Re-constitution of Accountability Commission, and the Vigilance Commission, Mr.Abdullah urged the people to utilise them to make the government transparent and corruption-free, which was his party’s goal.
“Some 80 basic services have been brought under the Public Services Guarantee Act to be delivered in a fixed time-frame,” the Chief Minister said, adding that any official responsible for delay or failure of delivery of these was liable for fine which would be given to the affected citizen.
“If the government functionary shows any reluctance or demands bribe, report this to the authority. The fine would be imposed on the official and you will be paid compensation,” he told the people, elaborating the provisions of Public Service Guarantee Act.
Mr.Abdullah said the entire government machinery from Chief Minister to legislators had been brought under the Accountability Commission and Vigilance Commission where their conduct and performance could be questioned by any citizen. On the employment crisis, he said the government had through a comprehensive and multi-faceted strategy opened opportunities for the youth in the government and private sector.