PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti faces rebellion in her own backyard

She could not prove to be assertive and effective and this was one of the reasons for her unceremonious exit

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti faces rebellion in her own backyard
PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti faces rebellion in her own backyard

Former PDP Minister claims Mehbooba is ‘incompetent’, promoted ‘sycophants’, relatives over party workers

Two weeks after losing her chair Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti now faces an ‘open‘ rebellion in her own backyard.

Whether Mehbooba Mufti would be able to tackle the political crisis or succumb would determine how long she is going to survive and play a pivotal role in the state polity?

With this, the facade of unity portrayed by the ‘spin’ doctors of the party so far has also been exposed at a crucial time when speculations are rife here in the corridors of power that both Congress and BJP are exploring the options of cobbling together a coalition in the state to rid of Governor’s rule.

For record sake, the Congress party has distanced itself from any efforts aimed at government formation in the state but BJP leaders continue to maintain suspense and discreet silence overtaking support from the breakaway faction of the PDP.

As per the political grapevine, the BJP is in touch with some of the disgruntled PDP legislators and keeping a close watch on the political developments in the state.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta, however, triggered a fresh round of speculations on Tuesday by claiming that disgruntled MLA’s from different parties may join hands together and come out in support of BJP for government formation in the state.

“In the coming days, I see dissatisfied MLAs not just from PDP, but also from Congress and National Conference, are likely to join forces and form a new front,”  Kavinder Gupta said while reacting to developments within the PDP.

In the light of these sudden political developments rift within the PDP assumes far greater significance and throws an open challenge to the PDP Chief to keep her own flock intact. Whether Mehbooba Mufti would be able to tackle the political crisis or succumb would determine how long she is going to survive and play a pivotal role in the state polity?

Sudden fall of the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government has created an existential crisis for the two-decade-old People’s Democratic Party (PDP) founded by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed

The revolt within PDP?

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti may have labelled media reports speculating on PDP and Congress joining hands together for government formation in the state as ‘fake news‘ but she cannot change the reality that her own party MLA’s have raised a banner of revolt against her and openly questioning her leadership.

Senior party MLA and prominent Shia leader Imran Raza Ansari has come out openly against her but continues to remain party MLA.

Ansari is supported by two other MLA’s in the party including his uncle Abid Ansari, MLA Zadibal in Srinagar district and Mohammad Abbas, MLA Tangmarg in Baramulla district.

Interestingly both Mufti Mohd Sayeed and Moulvi Iftikhar Ansari, father of Imran Raza Ansari shared a strong bond when they were both alive. Ansari had joined PDP after leaving National Conference.

On Monday Imran Raza Ansari not only accused Mehbooba Mufti of destroying the party but also labelled her as ‘incompetent’ leader.

He fired the first salvo at her to establish his supremacy over those party leaders who are part of the kitchen cabinet of Mehbooba Mufti and took the backdoor route to occupy the ‘hot seats‘.

Earlier Imran Raza Ansari had also raised his voice against the step-motherly treatment accorded to the senior mass leaders in the party at the cost of accommodating those who came via the back door.

Training his guns towards Tassaduq Mufti, younger brother of Mehbooba Mufti, Imran also named Naeem Akhter, former Works Minister, Sartaj Madni, party vice president and Peer Mansoor Shah, former MLA as the coterie which was running the PDP and charged them with “destroying the party”.

“All these four leaders, Imran pointed out, haven’t won the election and were trying to run the Government as well as the party through the backdoor”, alleged Ansari.

He was pacified by the party high command but this time it is evident he is in no mood to spare PDP chief.

Referring to her coterie Ansari said she was surrounded by sycophants and family members who were distributed portfolios and senior party positions to control the party affairs.

“She introduced his own brother and assigned him a powerful portfolio. She also inducted his uncle and forgot to serve common masses”, Ansari alleged.

He said we have left PDP long before but are only attached as MLA’s.

He also called for a change in the leadership of the PDP.

PDP gained its best-ever tally in 2014 Assembly elections to emerge as the single largest party, but the verdict in Jammu region was in favour of the BJP

Mehbooba was not as popular as her father?

Sudden fall of the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government has created an existential crisis for the two-decade-old People’s Democratic Party (PDP) founded by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

According to political pundits compared to her father’s tall stature, Mehbooba had lesser clout and exposure in New Delhi

The party formed its first government in alliance with Congress in 2002. At that time party had won only 16 MLA’s yet Mufti Mohd Sayeed was handed over the baton by the Congress party to head the alliance government and implement the common minimum programme. For three years Mufti Mohd Sayeed headed the government and as per their understanding, the baton was handed over to Ghulam  Nabi Azad of the Congress party in 2005.

Following Amarnath land row in the state, PDP pulled the plug and Ghulam Nabi Azad led govt fell without completing its term in office. IN 2009 PDP lost miserably and National Conference joined hands with the Congress. Omar Abdullah remained at the helm of affairs.

Later, PDP gained its best-ever tally in 2014 Assembly elections to emerge as the single largest party, but the verdict in Jammu region was in favour of the BJP.

Both the parties came together and stitched an alliance. They even drafted Agenda of Alliance.

But after Mufti’s demise, his daughter initially showed reluctance to step into her father’s shoes and sought assurances from the Centre that issues concerning Kashmir would be addressed on priority.

There was no public assurance but she eventually fell in line and took over as Chief Minister in April 2016.

After 22 months in the chair, she had to make an unceremonious exit.

According to political pundits compared to her father’s tall stature, Mehbooba had lesser clout and exposure in New Delhi.

“She could not prove to be assertive and effective and this was one of the reasons for her unceremonious exit,” say political commentators in the state.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

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