PDP expels 2 members who ‘will join NC today’

The rebellion that hit Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) within days after losing power in June this year continues to rattle it.
PDP expels 2 members who ‘will join NC today’
File Photo

The rebellion that hit Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) within days after losing power in June this year continues to rattle it. In another jolt to the party, senior member and former minister Basharat Bukhari is all set to join National Conference.

Though rumors were afloat for the past many days about the two-time MLA from Sangrama constituency quitting party to join NC, a statement by PDP vice-president AR Veeri to a local news agency confirmed another setback to the party.

The party has also expelled another senior leader and former minister Peer Muhammad Hussain while general secretary Mehbooba Iqbal has been removed from the position.

NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar told Greater Kashmir that both leaders would join the party tomorrow.

"They (Bukhari and Hussain) were indulging in anti-party activities," Veeri said, as a reason for expelling them, though there was no official statement from the party on the development.

To a question whether members quitting party was a concern, Veeri responded saying that "it is not good that a member leaves the party when it is in trying circumstances". 

"But we can't force anybody to stay in the party," Veeri said.  

Bukhari has become a fifth former PDP MLA to quit the party in less than two months. Others include Imran Ansari, Haseeb Drabu, Abid Ansari and Muhammad Abbas Wani.

Bukhari started his political career with PDP in mid 2000 and served as party chief spokesperson before he was elected as MLC.

A senior party leader acknowledged that the rebellion has "emerged as a major concern". 

"We don't know where it will stop. The fact that elections are ahead makes it (rebellion) more worrying," acknowledged the PDP leader.

The growing dissent within the party had also come for discussion during party's meeting of former legislators and senior members chaired by party president Mehbooba earlier this month.  

"It is a wait and watch for us," another party leader talked about members quitting PDP. "We can't force anybody to stay in the party."  

The PDP was hit by rebellion soon after its former ally, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), withdrew support to it on June 19, bringing sudden end to the Mehbooba-led government. Days later, seven former legislators of the party rebelled against the leadership. The rebellion was led by Imran Ansari. Two party members, Javaid Baigh and Abdul Majid, who had joined the rebel chorus, returned to the fold later.

The party has been hit by rebellion at a time when Assembly elections are only a few months away in J&K.

A source said another PDP MLC, Saif-ud-Din Bhat, is in touch with National Conference and could possibly switch sides. Bhat also met even met Omar Abdullah recently, said the source.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com