Peoples Democratic Party founder-member and MP Tariq Hameed Karra on Thursday resigned from the party in protest against “ongoing civilian killings” in the Kashmir Valley, increasing worries for beleaguered Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The resignation of Mr. Karra, 61, from the party’s basic membership and as a Lok Sabha MP, is the major jolt for Ms. Mufti and the PDP-BJP alliance government, which is battling a 70-day unrest in which 80 civilians have died and more than 10,000 injured so far.
“I was feeling suffocated. My resignation is a mark of protest against the civilian killings. I am forwarding my resignation to the Speaker in a day or two,” Mr. Karra told a press conference here.
‘Unnatural alliance’ Blaming the PDP-BJP alliance for the current turmoil, Mr. Karra said, “The seeds of deceit, disillusionment and disenchantment were sown in the minds and hearts of people the day the PDP tied an alliance with the BJP … it was an unnatural alliance.”
Once a close aide of Ms. Mufti, Mr. Karra, who defeated National Conference president Farooq Abdullah in 2014 Lok Sabha polls by a margin of 40,000 votes, accused the PDP of “working on the RSS-agenda.”
“The PDP has collaborated with the facist RSS-governed BJP to facilitate and implement the Hindutva agenda in the only Muslim majority State. The PDP is no more the buffer as it claimed once,” said Mr. Karra.
The MP has been critical of the PDP-BJP alliance from Day 1. In fact, he boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of Ms. Mufti in April. He had accused the BJP-PDP alliance of “mishandling” the Kashmir situation.
“It’s after more than 100 years that Eid namazwas not allowed and the places like historical Jamia Masjid were closed down,” said Mr. Karra, who refused to divulge his future plan. He appealed to like-minded people within the PDP “to join him.”