PDP leaders defer meeting with Mehbooba Mufti despite Guv’s permission

New Delhi: A 10-member delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party that was to visit detained party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday has deferred the meeting. The reason is not clear at this stage.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had granted permission for the meeting on Sunday evening, hours after a National Conference delegation met their president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah.

“The Peoples Democratic Party delegation will be led by General Secretary Ved Mahajan,” former PDP legislator and spokesperson Firdous Tak had said in the evening. Tak said the PDP had requested Governor Satya Pal Malik to allow the meeting and “we have been conveyed that the permission has been granted”.

Mufti, a former chief minister, was detained by the administration along with other political leaders like the Abdullahs on the night of August 4, a day before the Centre moved to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

The former CM, who has continued to criticise the government through her Twitter account by giving its access to her daughter, has been detained at the Hari Nivas in the state’s capital for the last months. The government had most of the political leadership of Kashmir to prevent a possible backlash to its move to nullify Article 370.

The delegation that met the Abdullahs discussed developments in the state and upcoming local body polls during the separate meetings with the two leaders.

The NC leaders led by Jammu’s provincial chief of the party, Davinder Singh Rana, met former chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is also detained at Hari Nivas, for a little over 30 minutes.

Omar, who was sporting a beard, was seen clicking a selfie with party leaders. The delegation then drove to Farooq Abdullah’s residence. Emerging after the meeting, Rana told reporters that for any political process to begin, the leaders of the party need to be released.

The government had released Jammu-based political leaders after the announcement of the local body polls on Thursday. The adviser to the Jammu and Kashmir governor, Farooq Khan, said that Kashmiri leaders will be released “one by one after analysis of every individual”.

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