Jammu and Kashmir: Top PDP leaders reach out to rebel MLAs amid fears of new government minus Mehbooba Mufti

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New Delhi | Published: July 10, 2018 1:41:14 PM

Top leaders of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) have expressed confidence that dissenting leaders won't break away from the party and will return to the party fold to support their leader Mehbooba Mufti.

Mehbooba Mufti, PDP, Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, PDP MLAs, Jammu and Kashmir governmentm, BJP, PDP BJP allianceJammu and Kashmir: Top PDP leaders reach out to rebel MLAs amid fears of new government minus Mehbooba Mufti

Top leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have expressed confidence that dissenting leaders won’t break away from the party and will return to the party fold to support their leader Mehbooba Mufti. On Monday, three dissenting MLAs were slated to meet former CM and party president Mufti but they failed to turn up at her residence. The Indian Express reported that bigwigs are now reaching out to those leaders to pacify them and bring them back. They have exuded confidence that barring former minister Imran Raza Ansari and his uncle Abid Ansari, others will soon return.

The three rebel MLAs who were not present at yesterday’s meeting were Abdul Majeed Padder, Javeed Ahmad Beig and Abbass Wani. The IE report said that all three were supposed to meet the PDP president at her residence but decided to give it a skip at the last moment.

Sources told The Indian Express that most of the PDP leaders including the rebels were busy in attending the condolence meeting of senior party leader Altaf Bukhari’s mother in Ladoora in Rafiabad. They said this could be the reason why they were not present at the former CM’s residence.

“I had gone to Altaf-sahib’s residence to offer condolences. I haven’t yet made up my mind about the meeting (Mehbooba Mufti),” Abdul Padder, one of the dissident MLAs, told The Indian Express.

Sources told the daily that several PDP leaders and MLAs on Monday dropped in at Javeed Beig’s Baramulla residence for an informal discussion related to the ongoing activities inside the party. A PDP leader told the daily that Beig has some grievances that can be sorted out.

“We have got indications that he will be back in the party fold soon. We are hopeful that most dissidents will return to the party but we are not sure about the Ansaris,” the leader told IE.

The report said that Mufti had on Sunday held one-on-one discussion with the party MLAs. It is believed that most of the MLAs had pledged to support her after being assured that their issues related to the party will surely be taken into account.

The meeting was called after several PDP leaders openly criticised Mufti and held her responsible for the failure of the PDP-BJP alliance government and accused PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti of turning the party into a “family fiefdom”.

Moreover, the group of dissenting PDP legislators – Abid Ansari, his nephew Imran Reza Ansari, Abbas Wani, Abdul Majeed Padder and Javed Hassan Baig – are learnt to have launched efforts to form a new government in Jammu and Kashmir that is led by the BJP and excludes Mehbooba Mufti. The rebel MLAs have claimed to enjoy support of 21 MLAs.

The state is currently placed under the Governor’s rule. No political party has enough numbers to stake the claim to form a government. The PDP is the single largest party with 28 MLAs. It is followed by the BJP’s 25 MLAs. The magic figure to form a government in 87-chair House is 44.

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