More than a fortnight after BJP broke alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, the latter has witnessed the massive rumbling within the party and many of its leaders have turned rebel. PDP is the second largest political dispensation of state after National Conference and all within the party is not going well.
Many of its senior party leaders have accused the party president Mehbooba Mufti of confining the power to its family corridors and shirking the space for outsiders.
On Sunday, the MLA Zadibal Abid Hussain Ansari was the first party legislature who levelled the allegation against his party and its president Mehbooba Mufti. However, his comments gained more weight when he was backed by senior leader of the party Imran Raza Ansari who also served as the minister in PDP-BJP government.
Ansari represents Pattan constituency but hails from a well influential Shia family having its clout across the Shia dominating areas of valley. Abid Ansari is his uncle. It is to be believed that in 2015 Assembly elections, Ansari has been an instrumental in securing the Shai vote in many constituencies for his party.
His influence is evident from the remarks made by another rebel MLA of the party Mohammad Abbas who managed to defeat the long time winner of Tangmarg constituency Ghulam Hassan Mir in 2015 elections.
Abbas too echoed the same views and maintained that he will follow the footsteps of Imran Raza Ansari though he claimed that he spoke the same language much before Ansari did but was unnoticed given to his poor political stature.
Abbas is sharing the borders of his constituency with Pattan and has decisive Shia votes. Ansari wields the considerable influence over that and makes a compelling situation for him. It is to be believed that there are many more leaders in the camp who may be waiting for a right time to disclose their cards.
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What Imran Ansari has said that PDP is a “Family Democratic Party” is a thought that majority of leaders in PDP share. However, not all are so vocal and possibly some of them may in coming times disclose it.
When the BJP pulled out of PDP in Kashmir, the biggest reasons it cited was Mehbooba’s incompetence to deliver and run the coalition.
The incharge political affairs of Jammu and Kashmir from BJP Ram Madhav in a press conference said that it was “untenable” for them to continue in the government run by PDP. He was the key person in stitching the alliance which was termed by former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed north pole-south pole alliance.
BJP accused Mehbooba of overlooking the developmental needs of Ladkah and Jammu region where the party has swept the last assembly elections. In case if the allegations of BJP are true, it was surely then untenable for them to continue in her government. The party accused more of surge in violence in Kashmir and failure of ceasefire that New Delhi declared on Mehbooba’s insistence.
The further slews New Delhi announced to imbibe the confidence of Mehbooba to run the government smooth even didn’t work. The cases against 11000 youths were withdrawn accused for stone pelting and anti national activities.
The surrender policy for militants was further modified to rehabilitation policy and security officers were encouraged with perks and benefits to ensure militants are caught alive to defuse the brewing situation on ground which was resulting after the militants killing. However, nothing worked and situation continued to run out of hands from the state and centre government.
It is undeniable fact that the PDP-BJP despite the mandate of people failed in every sense. There was no development on ground. The politicking even within the coalition was on its peak. Mehbooba, from her party affairs to the state has all mishandled.
She didn’t even only ditched her party leaders time to time, in fact the grass root level workers who braved the bullets to cast the ballot felt dejected.
She didn’t let powers to go beyond her family members and continued with the nepotism and favouritism which not only affected the transparent and smooth functioning of her government, however, discouraged the political leaders to deliver with efficiency. The leaders in the party who matter the most were the least connected on ground, so the failure was inevitable.
If the insiders in the party are believed, the crucial affairs are run by one of party’s senior leader Nayeem Akther. Akther was inducted in the cabinet by the party after he was first chosen for MLC. He doesn’t have any constituency nor has potential to face the electorate. Besides, Akther is also one of the senior spokespersons of the party and is involved in all the decision making processes.
While for the many party leaders Akther had become unbearable, the PDP in the second attempt furthering the family clout brought in Tasaduq Mufti the brother of Mehbooba Mufti and inducted him as senior leader in the cabinet.
The move has not only aggravated the situation, however, it has worsened the party affairs when he managed to accommodate and rehabilitate all his friends and kins.
“The majority of his team members were his friends and relatives overlooking the party cadre which scarified a lot for the party,” said the senior party leader.
This did not stop here. Junior Mufti parachuted all his friends’ from other parts of country and tried to accommodate them in their government.
“We could have accommodated our own people who brave the bullets and vote for us. But he didn’t listen to anyone and offered contracts and jobs to his friends who mostly are non state subjects,” the senior PDP leader added.
What the Mufti family has been doing right now, the ground was prepared a long back to keep the party family centric.
Sartaj Madani, uncle of Mehbooba Mufti is another key person in the PDP team running affairs. There are many more people in the family who are dominating its political show behind the scenes.
The party didn’t let its grass root level leaders to flourish. The senior leaders like Muzaffer Husain Baig has been pushed to the wall. The role of Dilawar Mir has been dramatically reduced while another senior political stalwart Tariq Hamid Karra felt suffocated in the same environs and preferred to switch over to Congress. The most juniors have become the super seniors of the party much to the annoyance of its majority.
It may be not be surprising if more anti dispensation voices join the Ansari’s rebel group in coming times.
This Story Earlier Published In Print Edition of ‘ The Legitimate’