Mehbooba's Delhi remark further enrages PDP rebels

Mehbooba's Delhi remark further enrages PDP rebels

‘Our fight is against nepotism and dynastic rule’

The rebel legislators of Peoples Democratic Party Friday hit out again at their president Mehbooba Mufti, enraged by her statement that New Delhi was instigating them for splitting the party. 

Hours after the former chief minister Mufti warned New Delhi of serious repercussions if it makes any attempt to split her party, five PDP legislators – three MLAs and two MLCs- saying “their fight was against nepotism and dynastic rule”.  

“We are a small set of leaders and won’t dare to go near Delhi. Delhi is the domain of the two select families. Let Mehboobaji educate us about the role of Delhi in her career so that we would also understand what Delhi is?” asked Imran Reza Ansari, who represents Pattan assembly segment of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

 “Can’t we raise our voice? Is the definition of democracy confined to total blind loyalty and slavery to Mehboobaji?" Ansari said, claiming the rebels were the “real PDP".

Ansari said Mufti’s assertion had put their lives in danger. 

“She has leveled serious allegations against us. Does she want to create an impression among the people that we are colluding with the Centre?” he asked. 

On the sidelines of news conference, Ansari said it has been a tradition to put a “Delhi tag” on anybody who dares to challenge the two dynasties ruling J&K, referring to National Conference and PDP.

“She (Mufti) is telling Delhi that don’t dump the tradition and ensure that her MLAs don’t rebel against her. It is not the intervention of Delhi she actually is talking about. She is agitating about the absence of intervention by Delhi which really defines change in today’s situation compared to the past,” he said.

Ansari also appeared to echo NC saying Mufti should count the number of people who took to the gun during her tenure as chief minister.

“She is threatening that Salahuddins and Yasin Maliks will be born (if her party breaks). Let her tell how many youth picked up arms during her tenure,” he said.

MLA Baramulla, Javaid Hussain Baigh also came down heavily on the PDP leadership for “stifling democracy within the party and sidelining bigwigs like Muzaffar Hussain Baigh”. 

“We tried to reach out and talk to her (Mufti) but what we faced from her and her cronies was utter humiliation,” Baigh said, adding the PDP president was trying to give out an impression that the institution of MLA was up for sale. 

“She has also accused us of dancing to someone’s tunes. This is like putting us before the lynch mob, this can put our families and workers at risk,” Baigh said.

Another rebel, MLC Saifuddin Bhat, said horse trading takes place in total secrecy and not while legislators are at home and freely accessible.

“Let her cajole them and convince them, who is stopping her?” Bhat asked.

Abdul Majid Padder (MLA Noorabad) and Yasir Reshi (MLC) were also present at the press conference.

Apart from the five legislators who were present in the press conference, Ansari’s uncle — MLA Zadibal Abid Ansari — and MLA Tangmarg Abbas Wani are the other two PDP legislators who have openly rebelled against the leadership of Mufti.