A month after three leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) resigned citing Mehbooba Mufti’s “actions and undesirable utterances”, three more have quit the party. Daman Bhasin, Fallail Singh and Pritam Kotwal resigned from the party, which they said has become the “second fiddle” to the National Conference.
“Putting our political career at the stake, we joined PDP from the very first day of its formation with an aim to provide a secular alternative to corrupt and dynast NC as late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had vision to frustrate evil designs of communal and parochial elements but the party leadership has, unfortunately, abandoned Mufti Sahib agenda to become B team of NC,” they said in a letter, which was posted by news agency ANI on Twitter.
“Apart from becoming the B team of NC, party leadership has recently given some highly provocative and controversial statements against the basic principles of the founder of the party. Keeping in view the prevailing situation, being disciples of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed it is difficult for us to work in the party which has become second fiddle to the NC. We are forced to take this difficult decision with heavy heart to leave the party which we were formed as disciples of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” they added.
In October, TS Bajwa, Ved Mahajan and Hussain A Waffa had quit the PDP, saying they are “feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances, especially which hurt patriotic sentiments” referring to party chief Mehbooba Mufti. “Instead of overcoming the challenges from within and outside by a process of broader consultations and trust, some elements within the party pulling the party and leadership in a particular direction, thus deviating from the basic principles, agenda and philosophy, making it difficult to face the saner voices in the society,” they had said.
The resignations of Bajwa, Mahajan and Waffa had come after Mufti had said that her party’s members would not raise the tricolour unless they are allowed to raise the flag of Jammu and Kashmir, the right to which had been conferred on the erstwhile state by the now-defunct Article 370 of the Constitution.
They had also come after Mehbooba Mufti joined the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a grouping of seven political parties in Jammu and Kashmir. National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah has been chosen as its chairperson and Mufti his deputy, giving shape to an alliance that they have formed to demand the restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status. The Centre had revoked the erstwhile state’s special status last year in August and bifurcated it into Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.