Mehbooba Mufti struggles to contain dissent in PDP as top Shia leader Abid Ansari announces intent to quit

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti may face fresh trouble as ex-MLA and top Shia leader Abid Ansari on Friday said that he will resign from the party. This comes a day after former finance minister and PDP MLA Haseeb Drabu resigned from the party. Drabu took the decision despite recent steps taken by Mufti to rejig the party.

Abid said that he will resign from the party shortly. “Like Haseeb Drabu, I have also dissociated from the PDP since the death of former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” he said.

Abid's nephew Imran Ansari recently left the PDP and joined the People’s Conference (PC) led by former minister Sajad Gani Lone. Abid, however, said that he has not decided “as yet on whether to join the PC.”

File image of Mehbooba Mufti. PTI

File image of Mehbooba Mufti. PTI

Sources in the PC, however, said that the party "has been strengthened with the joining of many leaders, including Imran Ansari" and that it would welcome both Drabu and Abid.

Sajad considers both Drabu and Abid as close friends, but party sources said that Drabu has not been in touch with the PC leader to join the party. “He (Drabu) has not disclosed his intentions to join the PC, and we don’t think that he would do so at the moment,” sources said.

However, with the resignation of Drabu and voices of dissent within the PDP, the party could face major setbacks in the Assembly elections. Lone is trying to cash in on the recent claim for government formation by Mufti, in which arch rivals NC and Congress had come together “to keep him out of power.” He has been saying that the two parties did so as they wanted to promote the “dynastic rule” and has claimed that their attempt to form the government "was only a drama.”

Besides Abid and Drabu, former PDP leader Abbas Wani also has “no intention to return to the party.” The PDP is already facing trouble in its strongholds, as many civilians were killed in south Kashmir during protests after the killing of Burhan Muzafar Wani. Mufti drew flak when she as the chief minister justified the action by the forces, saying that the protesting youth did not go towards the camps of security forces to “buy toffees and milk.”

The PDP leaders who have rebelled against the party said that they did so as former minister Nayeem Akhtar, Mufti's uncle Sartaj Madni, and senior leader Peerzda Mansoor were calling the shots in the government, although none of them were elected MLAs. While Nayeem was an MLC, both Sartaj and Mansoor had lost the 2014 elections from Devsar and Shangus Assembly constituencies respectively.

However, former Noorabad MLA Abdul Majeed Padder said that Mufti listened to his grievances, "following which she brought certain changes in the party structure.”

He added,“Both Madni and Mansoor were removed as vice-president and general secretary of the party respectively, and they don’t hold any office as of now. These positions are now held by party leaders Abdul Rehman Veeri and Ghulam Nabi Lone respectively.”

In August, Mufti, besides nominating the new office-bearers, also reconstituted the Political Affairs Committee (PAC), which has Muzaffar Hussain Baig, senior leader Abdul Rehman Veeri, Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Mehboob Baig and Syed Basharat Bukhari as members.

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Updated Date: Dec 07, 2018 22:52:22 IST

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