'PDP will bounce back'

Chairing the first PDP meeting after conclusion of the LokSabha polls in J&K, Mehbooba Mufti Sunday expressed dissatisfaction with the party members saying they could have put up a better show during campaigning. 

The PDP chief however said her party, which was hit by rebellion earlier this year, would “bounce back strongly” to play a “key role” in the state politics.

“No doubt the situation was not conducive in south Kashmir, but we could have done better during the election (campaigning), both in north and south,” a senior PDP member quoted Mehbooba telling the meeting.

While none of the party could hold full-fledged election campaigning in the southern Kashmir, the atmosphere remained ‘helpful’ in northern and central Kashmir LokSabha constituencies.

Mehbooba, who contested the election from Anantnag, is facing tough competition from rival candidates of the Congress and the National Conference, owing to a complete boycott in most of the Assembly segments which had remained a stronghold of the party over the years.

The outcome of the result, many believe, will have a bearing on the fate of the party and Mehbooba’s authority as well.

The PDP entered into the election after more than half a dozen senior party members including former ministers and some second rung members quit it, following the rebellion.

“Many had written us off but we have proven that we are here to stay to play an important role in the state politics,” Mehbooba told the meeting.

The meeting which started at 11 am and lasted for three hours was attended by former ministers, ex-lawmakers and senior members from Kashmir and Ladakah.

Party Patron MuzaffarHussainBaig also attended the meeting and spoke on the occasion, besides party Vice-President AR Veer and others

Mehbooba is also learnt to have told the meeting that she will “personally” meet party members from all constituencies to listen to their grievances.

In a statement issued in the evening about the meeting, Mehbooba said only meaningful engagement between India and Pakistan and the “leadership of Kashmir” can help resolve Kashmir conflict.

She said it was high time for all political forces to come together and make strenuous efforts in unison to get J&K out of the uncertainty and bloodshed.

The former Chief Minister said Pakistan has been giving positive vibes in recent times about its realisation that meaningful and peaceful engagement was the only possible way forward.

She asked New Delhi to reciprocate positively to every initiative of peace and reconciliation.

She said the “core motive” of the PDP has always been to get India and Pakistan on table to talk peace and end decades only conflict.

Mehbooba asserted that the PDP will play a pivotal role in structuring and executing any “effective formulation” to get people of the state out of morass.