3 senior PDP leaders quit party

Three senior leaders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including two of its founding members today resigned from the party saying that Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on national flag had “hurt patriotic sentiments”.

The trio former MP TS Bajwa, Ex-MLC Ved Mahajan and former PDP state secretary Choudhary Hussain Ali Waffa, resigned from the party.

Ved Mahajan and Bajwa were the founding members, whereas Waffa joined the party in 2008.

In their single resignation letter addressed to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, they said: “We, your colleagues in Jammu region, most of whom remained associated with the party through every thick and thin since its formation are feeling quite uncomfortable over some of your actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt the patriotic sentiments.”

The letter came in the wake of uproar in Jammu for last three days over the recent statement of Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar in which she had said that she will not hold tricolour till erstwhile state flag was not restored.

“Former Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had twin broader objectives behind the formation of PDP. First, to create a viable political alternative in J&K to represent the regional aspirations of the people especially in the wake of vacuum in the shape of any mainstream alternative political voice in Kashmir valley and secondly, to channelize the dissent especially among the youth and to prevent them from falling in the trap of anti-India elements,” reads the letter.

Instead of overcoming the challenges from within and outside by a process of broader consultation, “some elements within the party started pulling the party and leadership in particular directions. Thus, deviating from basic principles, agenda and philosophy making it further difficult to face the saner voices in the society,” the letter reads.

Ved Mahajan and Choudhary Hussain Ali Waffa admitted that they have resigned from the party. “Yes, we have resigned. Otherwise, what was the purpose of issuing a letter? Go by the letter,” Ved Mahajan told Greater Kashmir

“We had given an alternative following which PDP could form a government within three years. We have become second feeders. It seems PDP has merged with NC and other parties in Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah has become President and Mehbooba Mufti as Vice President. Now, there is no PDP,” Ved Mahajan told the media.

He added: “In big decisions, we were not consulted. Hence, we felt suffocated. Just one statement failed all our efforts. They do not think about Jammu before issuing a statement.”

Hussain Ali Waffa told Greater Kashmir that they have written to the party president that “we are feeling suffocated after being neglected by the leadership in decision making.”

He said they have been compelled to leave the party “which also means that we have resigned from the party”.

“Even if they call us to return to the party, we will not. We have resigned from the basic membership of the party. In two days, we will call the media to declare it.”

Protests against PDP

Meanwhile, with her statement, the PDP office has faced several protests here. The continuous protest for the third day in Jammu has turned the atmosphere against the PDP and tricolours were hoisted by the people outside the PDP office in protest against the remarks of Mehbooba Mufti.

The police in large numbers has been deployed and the entry to the PDP office has been blocked with barbed wires. A large number of tricolours have been hoisted by the people and the day witnessed continuous protests by different groups.

“One tricolour has been hoisted on the top of the PDP flag outside the party’s office by a group of young men. Later, a woman holding a national flag in hand entered into argument when she tried to cross the barbed wires,” witnesses said.

Interestingly, today, the local PDP leaders also confronted the protesters saying that they were also nationalists and were hoisting the national flag every year on August 15.