Omar embarrassed over advisor’s deal with Doordarshan

Jammu, March 4 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is facing opposition heat after it was revealed that his advisor Mubarak Gul is party to a lucrative contract with a TV channel while still a legislator.

Gul was selected as one of the producers by Doordarshan for allotment of a Rs.18 lakh contract for producing a serial in June last year.

This revelation has caused a great deal of embarrassment for the chief minister, as his rivals, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have sought to make an issue of it.

‘This is straight corruption and violates the established constitutional provisions,’ said PDP legislator Sayeed Mansoor Hussain. He raised the issue in the assembly Wednesday, but his charges were denied by Gul.

According to constitutional lawyer A.K. Sawhney: ‘It is an unacceptable situation. The legislator cannot enter into any contract with the government or any other agency.’

However, the chief minister is maintaining silence over the issue. Despite persistent efforts by newsmen, he refused to speak on it.

Gul claimed that his ‘Gulistan Production’ had applied for the allotment three years ago, when he was not a legislator.

But the Doordarshan allotment list issued after the presentation in June 2009 showed that Gul had appeared for a presentation before a panel of Doordarshan in New Delhi when he was a legislator.

Gul was elected from Idgah constituency in Srinagar during the 2008 assembly elections.

When contacted, Gul told IANS that he did make a presentation.

‘But, no formal allotment was made because some people moved the court against the list issued after the presentation. I have not entered into any contract till date,’ he maintained.

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