With her party hit by a rebellion, Mehbooba Mufti chaired on Saturday the PDP's core group meeting here to review its affairs, as she faces one of the biggest challenges of her career to keep the party intact. The meeting which lasted for more than an hour took place barely a few days after two of her senior party members, BasharatBukhari and Peer Muhammad Hussain, quit the Peoples Democratic Party and joined National Conference.
So far six senior party members—five of them former legislators including three cabinet ministers in the previous government—have left the PDP.
"We discussed the situation within the party. It (rebellion) is a concern but we can't force people not to leave. We will have to make up for the loss and prepare for coming elections," said a senior party member, who attended the meeting.
The PDP was hit by rebellion days after the BharatiyaJanata Party pulled out of the alliance with it in June this year.
Mehbooba, the PDP president, finds herself in the midst of crisis at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is set to witness parliament and assembly elections next year.
The meeting, another senior member said, discussed the upcoming elections and how the party should go-ahead with the preparations thereof.
He said the meeting deliberated upon the issue of replacing the members in the constituencies who left the party.
"It is a challenge but there is no other option," said the member.
This was the second meeting chaired by Mehbooba in less than a month. On December 10, she chaired a meeting of the party's political affairs committee, the highest decision-making body. The issue of growing dissent had come up for discussion that time also.
The meeting also discussed the preparations for observing the third death anniversary of the former party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
The two-time chief minister of J&K, Sayeed died after a prolonged illness on January 7, 2016.
The meeting decided to hold the main program at the graveyard in Bijbehara where Sayeed is laid to rest.