PDP expels Altaf Bukhari for ‘anti-party activities’

Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday expelled senior leader AltafBukhari for “anti-party activities”.
PDP expels Altaf Bukhari for ‘anti-party activities’
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Mehbooba Mufti-led People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday expelled senior leader AltafBukhari for "anti-party activities". Bukhari became third former legislator to be expelled from the PDP which is facing a rebellion and has seen five of its other former legislators and some second-rung leaders quitting the party in the past six months. 

"The party today expelled AltafBukhari for his anti-party activities," the PDP said on its official twitter handle. 

"The party has been watching with concern the activities of AltafBukhari for quite some time and thereby (he) stands expelled from basic membership of the party."

In a statement issued to the media the party said ever since the demise of its founder and former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, "Bukhari has been perusing his personal political ambition at the cost of the party and state interest". 

"Bukhari inspired and led dissent in the party at its most crucial stage which resulted in serious damage to our efforts at implementing the agenda of alliance of our coalition government. While the party leadership was engaged in negotiations with its partner (BJP) and the government of India, insisting on implementing some agreed points before forming the new government, the dissension weakened its bargaining position, forcing subsequent events against its will," the party statement said, citing "reasons" for expelling Bukhari. 

"In spite of this obvious backstabbing and subversion of people's interest", the party said, "the leadership believed in subsequent explanations and assurances of Bukhari and reposed complete trust in him by re-inducting him in cabinet."

"Unfortunately ever after the end of coalition (with BJP), Bukhari instead of pursuing party interest in accordance with (the) expectations of our voters and workers started open attempts at breaking the party by hobnobbing with its rivals," said the statement, adding that newspapers have been running stories almost on daily basis to "create impression Bukhari being at the centre of a rebellion brewing in the party". 

The leadership, the statement said, waited in the hope of Bukhari rejecting these reports to clear the air. "But unfortunately he did nothing to remove this impression," said the statement, adding it was therefore decided to expel Bukhari from party's basic membership with immediate effect. The expulsion of Bukhari, who was former finance minister and an influential voice in the party, comes days after he openly supported National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah's remarks that people should elect a single-party government in J&K. His remarks had ruffled a few feathers in the party and PDP's vice president AR Veeri had termed Bukhari's remarks "his personal opinion and not that of the party".

None of the PDP leaders commented on expulsion of Bukhari. While the party vice president AR Veeri said he would be able to give his comment on the issue "only tomorrow", party chief spokesperson Rafi Mir didn't respond to repeated calls.  

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