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PDP stares at split as 2 more leaders quit

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti in Mumbai on December 14, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday received a jolt when its two senior leaders, including a former minister, decided to quit the party, taking the number of senior party leaders, including legislators, shunning the party to eight since the PDP-BJP government fell in June this year.

Syed Basharat Bukhari, who served as law and revenue ministers during the PDP-BJP regime, and Peer Muhammad Hussain, vice chairman of the J&K Waqf, are tipped to join the National Conference (NC) on Wednesday. Mr. Bukhari was a two-time MLA from north Kashmir’s Sangrama constituency. Both the leaders were close associate of PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in the past.

“I have resigned from the PDP long back when I saw political sycophants taking over the charge and seniors not heard by the top brass of the party. Ms. Mufti tried to contact me but I am not ready to remain in the party keeping in view the alienation of people from the party at grassroot level,” said Mr. Hussian.

On Tuesday evening, PDP vice president Abdul Rehman Veeri said the party has expelled Mr. Hussain and Mr. Bukhari from the basic membership of the party “on charges of anti-party activities”. The party also removed Mehboob Iqbal from the general secretary position.

The PDP has come to a pass where it stares at a vertical split since the BJP pulled out from the ruling alliance in June. Earlier, in a major revolt faced by Ms. Mufti, three MLAs, Abid Ansari, Imran Ansari and Abbas Wani, quit the party. Of which, two joined the Peoples Conference (PC).

Two MLCs, Yasir Reshi and Saifuddin Bhat, also distanced themselves from the party. MLC Reshi also joined Lone’s PC. The architect of the PDP-BJP alliance, Hasseb Drabu, a PDP leader who served as State finance minister, also left the party after differences with Ms. Mufti over latter dropping him from the council of ministers.

With her party crumbling like a pack of cards, Ms. Mufti had written to BJP president Amit Shah and asked New Delhi “not to use its influence to split her party”. However, it failed to arrest the trend of people leaving the party. Two influential faces, Raja Ajaz Ali Khan from Uri and senior police officer Ashiq Hussian Bukhari from Kupwara, in north Kashmir have also quit the party recently, denting the party’s electoral prospectus in north Kashmir significantly.

Ms. Mufti prevailed upon senior leader Muzaffar Hussian Baigh, an MP from Baramulla, from leaving the pasty by offering him the position of patron, days after he threatened to support emerging third front, a reference to Lone’s party.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 9:21:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pdp-stares-at-split-as-2-more-leaders-quit/article25775736.ece

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