Troubles continue to grow for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti. In yet another setback to her, senior leader and former legislator Abid Ansari quit the party on Saturday. Ansari took to Twitter to announce his resignation: "I hereby announce my resignation from @jkpdp as the party has failed the people of J&K on all fronts."
Ansari was one of the five former legislators who had openly rebelled against the party leadership over alleged nepotism.
"I don't want to be a part of the lies and deception being perpetuated by the party," Ansari tweeted, adding he has sent a detailed letter of resignation to Mehbooba.
Ansari, who represented Zadibal constituency in the Assembly that was dissolved recently, is the second party leader after former finance minister Haseeb Drabu to quit the PDP this week, and the third party member to resign from the party.
On November 22, Ansari's nephew and former minister Imran Ansari resigned from the party and joined Sajad Lone-led People's Conference.
The senior Ansari, who had fought and won his maiden election from Zadibal in 2014, said he too was "seriously considering" to join Lone's party.
"Yes, I'm seriously considering it, but I will take a final call in coming days," he said.
During the past two years, Ansari has frequently criticised the party leadership for heeding to a "coterie consisting of non-political people" and maintaining disconnect with party leaders and workers.
"I had no respect in the party though I was a legislator. I was on a warpath with the PDP in and outside the Assembly for a long time. The main issue was how her (Mehbooba's) advisors were exploiting the people and workers and not letting anybody discuss any issue with the party leadership," said Ansari.
He said former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had made "several promises" to him regarding development of his constituency.
"But none of the promises was fulfilled," he said.
The party has been hit by rebellion at a time when Assembly elections are only a few months away in J&K. On the one hand it has earned peoples' anger in southern Kashmir, where it won the maximum number of seats in the previous election, and on the other hand, growing dissent within the party has cast doubts on its future.
"The PDP is a sinking ship. It has a very dark future," said Ansari.
It remains to be seen whether former MLA Mohammad Abbas Wani, and MLC Yasir Reshi, the other two rebels, would return to the party or quit as elections come nearer.
"More and more members are ready to leave the party," said Ansari.