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Hussain Baig’s flip-flop indicates anxiety within PDP

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Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and member of Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Baig’s flip-flop statement on beleaguered Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s tackling of the Kashmir situation on Thursday only pointed to the growing anxiety with the ruling party.

Hours after his interview to news channel CNN-News18, where he purportedly asked Ms. Mufti to step down “if she feels she can’t control the situation”, Mr. Baig issued a statement denying making such a remark.

“If I had to ask the CM to resign, I would not hesitate to do it and convey it to her personally instead of going to the media. She [Ms. Mufti] is like my younger sister. She is an orphan now and after her father’s death, her wounds are yet to heal,” said Mr. Baig in a statement.

However, the news channel quoted him as saying: “Ms. Mufti must look deep within, ask herself whether she is doing justice to the people of Kashmir.”

The PDP MP and founder member also suggested in the interview that “the alliance between the PDP and the BJP hasn’t worked for the party.”

He also criticised the all-party delegation initiative of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh saying “it was high on symbolism and low on delivery.”

However, Suhail Bukhari, Ms. Mufti’s media adviser, said, “I watched the interview. There is nothing that suggested Mr. Baig sought resignation from the Chief Minister. Mr. Baig has also issued a statement in this regard.”

Mr. Baig’s remarks still highlight the anxiety within the party over the handling of the Kashmir situation, in which 74 civilians have died and over 10,000 injured in 62 days of street protests.

This comes at a time when another senior PDP leader and member of Parliament Tariq Hamid Karra has criticised the party’s alliance and its handling of the situation.

In contrast to Ms. Mufti welcoming the all-party delegation to Kashmir, Mr. Karra was critical of the initiative. “All these delegations have proved to be an event but not a process. Can these all-party delegations have mandate to offer more than what three successive Prime Ministers had offered?” he asked in a statement recently.

Earlier, this year, during the government formation, Ms. Mufti found herself on a sticky wicket when a group of PDP leaders plotted to form the government “with or without Ms. Mufti” with the BJP.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:14:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Hussain-Baig%E2%80%99s-flip-flop-indicates-anxiety-within-PDP/article14628815.ece

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