Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday apologised in the Legislative Assembly here for the “intimidatory” words used by a minister of her cabinet against opposition National Conference member Devender Rana in the House on Tuesday. Intervening in one of the many heated exchanges between members of the treasury benches and the opposition, Mehbooba said the choice of words by some of the members was not “appropriate”. “Imran Ansari (sports minister) said something to an opposition member yesterday. I want to apologise for that,” the chief minister said.
She said although, as explained by Ansari and his cabinet colleague Sajad Lone the minister did not mean to threaten Rana, the use of the words was not correct.
Responding to the CM’s intervention, Rana, who had petitioned the speaker for directions to lodge an FIR against Ansari, said he was thankful for the gesture.
“I am very thankful and grateful to the chief minister for the gesture,” Rana said putting an end to two days of heated exchanges between him and Ansari, both of whom have interests in automobile businesses in the state.
Earlier, supporting his party colleague, veteran NC leader Mohammad Shafi Uri suggested that Speaker Kavinder Gupta seek expert advice from a criminal lawyer as Ansari’s comment yesterday came “under the ambit of criminal intimidation”.
“It is not something that can be expunged (from the House record) or interpreted differently,” Uri said referring to the speaker’s earlier direction that all intimidatory and unparliamentary words be expunged from the record.