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Video of Jammu and Kashmir minister invoking religion goes viral

Monday, 31 March 2014 - 8:56am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

 A big gaffe by the lone woman minister in the Omar Abdullah' government has landed the ruling National Conference (NC) into trouble in Jammu and Kashmir.

Social welfare minister Sakina Ittoo was caught on camera imploring an elderly man to take oath on Prophet and Quran to support her and the party.

The 3.11 minute video has gone viral prompting the main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) to decide to approach the Election Commission seeking disqualification of the minister.

Ittoo, an NC MLA who represents Noorabad constituency of south Kashmir's Kulgam district, is seen in the video asking the man to swear by Almighty Allah and his Prophet that he would support her and the party.

Her colleagues, who are not seen in the frame, are imploring the old man to recite the Kalima (the first basic fundamental of Islam) and swear by Holy Quran to work for Ittoo and her party as he did in 1996 (when first assembly elections were held after a six-year violent phase of militancy).

"It is an old thing when there was no code of conduct. It is frustration of PDP. We have never forced him to vote for the MLA or in the parliament elections. These words are not there. This old man has been the associate of my father for 60 years. He is like our family member," Ittoo told dna.

The minister noted they would be filing their response to the Election Commission once PDP approaches it. "Let them (PDP) approach the Election Commission. We too are here. This video dates back to December when there was no code of conduct," she said.

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