J&K polls: Cong candidate faces flak for listing daughter's marriage as liability in affidavit

Srinagar: Sparking a controversy, a Congress candidate for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections has mentioned the marriage of his daughter as a "liability" in his affidavit submitted along with his nomination papers.

Under the liabilities column of the affidavit submitted before the election authorities, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, a Congress candidate from central Kashmir Ganderbal Assembly constituency, has written "unmarried daughter's marriage". Bhat, however, defended his affidavit saying that a "wrong impression" was being created.

"My daughter is not a burden on me as is being said. My sons are earning but my daughter is not. So she is dependent on me. I do not think there is any problem when I say my daughter is dependent on me and I have to take care of her marriage. A wrong impression is being created," Bhat said.

He said the marriage of a daughter is the responsibility of a father and there was "more responsibility when the daughter is not earning". "She is not earning yet and I have to make sure she has everything for her marriage. I have kept a certain amount in bank for her marriage which I described in my affidavit, but she is not a liability," he said.

Bhat, who recently joined Congress after parting ways from National Conference (NC), has been in the limelight before as well. He was a key witness in Haji Yousuf case, a senior NC leader whom Bhat accused of taking money in lieu of promising him an MLC berth. Yousuf died while in police custody, a day after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah called him to his residence and handed him over to the Crime Branch.

Interestingly, Bhat, in his affidavit, mentions that he and his four dependents, including his wife, have not filed income tax returns. However, Bhat's affidavit shows his family's total movable assets amounting to about Rs 11 lakh, including nearly 10 lakh in cash. He had also claimed to have paid Yousuf Rs 84 lakh for an MLC berth.

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