In a setback to the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP), its president and former legislator Balwant Singh Mankotia on Wednesday announced his resignation from the basic membership of the party.
Mankotia, a two-time former MLA from Udhampur constituency, was on February 6 re-elected as party president, a post which he is holding for the past over one decade.
"With a heavy heart, I announce my resignation from all posts and responsibilities in the party and also from the basic membership of the party," Mankotia said in a video message on his Facebook page.
The JKNPP leader said "unavoidable circumstances" forced him to take this decision in haste and without consulting colleagues and workers, suggesting he is resigning because of a power tussle within the extended family.
"Had I not resigned, there was a possibility of the family matter becoming public. I appeal JKNPP founder and patron Bhim Singh that Harsh Dev Singh (JKNPP chairman) is capable and has interest. He should be given full responsibility of the party," he said.
Bhim Singh is the uncle of Mankotia and Harsh Dev Singh is his cousin.
Mankotia asked his supporters to attend the scheduled meeting in Udhampur on Thursday and said the meeting would decide his future course of action.
JKNPP Working Committee was constituted after its electoral process was completed by February 9 under the chairmanship of Returning Officer, P K Ganju in presence of Bhim Singh.