Tuesday Jul 13, 2021
MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Abdul Rashid Sulehria has ordered the registration of a case against Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur for donating cash during the party's campaign for the July 25 Legislative Assembly elections.
According to Geo News, the CEC rejected a report submitted by Returning Officer Mirpur Dadyal Raja Shamriz and directed the authorities to proceed with action against the PTI minister.
A video of the minister donating cash during the campaign for the July 25 election went viral last week prompting the CEC to take notice of the matter. He had also written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan apprising him of the development and the code of conduct set by the AJK Election Commission.
On Saturday, PTI member Chaudhry Rasib admitted to receiving money from Gandapur during the campaign, after which the RO for Mirpur seized the cash.
Shamriz had presided over a hearing in the matter of the distribution of money by Gandapur.
During the hearing, Rasib had admitted that he had received Rs390,000 from the minister but said that PTI candidate Azhar Sadiq, who is contesting the elections had nothing to do with the incident.
The RO confiscated the money, declared the Assembly candidate innocent and sent a detailed report on the matter to the AJK CEC.
Prior to that, the AJK CEC had written a letter to PM Imran Khan, requesting him to ensure that ministers observe the code of conduct set for the upcoming elections.
Sulehria had requested PM Khan to issue directives in writing to the federal government ministers who are participating in the election, as well as to the provincial government, to ensure that no individual violates the code of conduct specified by the AJK government.
"It is important to mention that violation of any provision of Code of Conduct by any person during the election campaign of a candidate may end up [in] disqualification of the candidate concerned," read the letter.
A video began circulating on social media last week showing Gandapur handing over a thick bundle of cash to some supporters in AJK's LA-1 Mirpur 1 constituency where he had gone to the campaign.
Some people had gathered around Gandapur to complain to him of a badly damaged road. They had told him that they are looking to repair it with whatever meagre funds they can scrounge up on their own. At this, the minister immediately handed them a donation, which was recorded on video.
Gandapur had also said that he is ready to provide further financial assistance and promised the people that the next time he visits the area, the road would have been repaired.
There were also reports of other ministers making promises of various schemes in other constituencies during their respective campaigns.