In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless, and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

PDP rebels renew efforts to woo fellow party-men; ‘Don’t want elections’

Srinagar, Aug 12: The rebel MLAs of the Peoples Democratic Party, who had revolted against their party president Mehbooba Mufti, have renewed their efforts to woo other ‘upset’ legislators of their party.

Sources say that in the past few days, the dissidents led by popular Shia leader and ex-Minister Imran Reza Ansari had once again reached out to their party colleagues in order to convince them join the revolt.

It is reliably learnt that the dissidents met at least two senior MLAs of the PDP. Both the legislators were important Cabinet Ministers in the Mehbooba regime.

At least one of the two MLAs had given assurance to the dissenting group that he too was feeling “suffocated” in the party and saw no future for himself in the PDP.

Though the MLA had conveyed to dissidents that he was with them ‘in principle’ but he had also refused to come out publicly against the Muftis.

So far Imran Reza Ansari, his UncleAbid Ansari, Abdul Majid Paddar, Abbas Wani, Javaid Baigh, Yasir Reshi and Saif-ud-din have revolted against Mehbooba Mufti.

Sources within the PDP say that many of the MLAs have become fence sitters and have pledged their allegiance to the Muftis as well as the dissidents.

“We are waiting for the outcome of what the Supreme Court says. One thing is clear we don’t want elections. We still have over two years left in our term. Our options are open,” a senior PDP MLA told The Kashmir Monitor.

Some of the PDP dissidents, sources say, may have even met BJP’s Kashmir point-man, Ram Madhav, during the latter’s recent visit to Srinagar and conveyed to him that at least 15 PDP MLAs were ready to leave the party if there was a chance to form the Government again.

After his return to Delhi from Srinagar, Madhav said that BJP will be a part of the government in Jammu and Kashmir in the future, as the “jinx” of having never been in power in the state has been broken.

“I say with confidence that whenever the government is again formed in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP will be a part of it,” Ram Madhav said, adding that the “jinx is broken”.

“We wanted to do a lot. But when we thought that things are not going according to us, we came out (of the government),” he said.

Madhav’s remarks are set to provide more energy to the efforts of the dissidents who anyway are being actively supported by Peoples Conference Chief Sajjad Lone.