Mehbooba Mufti in a fix, two more MLA’s rebel over PDP-BJP alliance
Ever since the BJP broke the alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, the PDP chief appears to be facing an uphill task in keeping her MLAs intact. Days after her former Cabinet colleague Imran Reza Ansari dropped hints that he may leave the party and accused her of converting the PDP into a “family fiefdom”, two more MLAs have expressed similar sentiments. The two are Tangmarg MLA Mohammad Abbas Wani and Noorabad MLA Abdul Majeed Paddar.
Wani and Paddar on Tuesday joined the chorus against Mufti and said that party bigwigs are not listening to its leaders. Reiterating what Ansari had said on Monday, Wani said that Mehbooba Mufti is to blame for the failure of the BJP-PDP coalition government. “Failure of the PDP-BJP coalition to complete its term was due to the CM’s incompetence”.
He said that after Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s demise in January 2016, there has been a drastic change inside the party-line. Wani said that many MLAs feel that they are not given due respect now and the grievances aired before the former CM in this regard were never taken into account. The Tangmar MLA added that Mufti was ‘abandoning’ the party. “Primarily, many party MLAs do not feel respected the same way as they did during Mufti Sayeed’s time. We have told this to Mehbooba-ji time and again,” Wani said, adding that he had raised the issue with party president during last assembly session in February. “Even after that, the party leadership made no effort to reach out to me, or ask other MLAs (about) their grievances.”
Wani said that in May, a group of 10 PDP MLAs had called on Mufti at her Fairview residence to discuss the issues related to the party. He said that all MLAs told her that “we are all upset”. He said that MLAs even pleaded her not to ‘abandon’ the party, but she had not responded to the MLAs positively. Explaining further the difference between the leadership style of Sayeed and Mufti, he said that when ‘Mufti-sahab was the leader of the party, every MLA felt they were close to him’. “He made you feel like that.”
“But that has changed since she (Mehbooba) took over. I advised her to take a page off her father’s book in keeping the party together.” Paddar echoed a similar sentiment. The MLA said that he had recently met Mehbooba Mufti to convey his concerns but failed to get any response from his party president. He said that the Governor’s rule is not in the interest of the people, and he is ready to support ‘any initiative’ to form the government in the state. The state was placed under the Governor’s rule last month after the BJP quit the coalition government headed Mehbooba Mufti. On its part, the BJP said that Mufti had failed to check terror activities and rising cases of radicalisation despite all help extended to her by the Modi government. The BJP and PDP had joined the ranks in March 2015 following a hung verdict in the assembly polls held in November-December 2014.