Rebel MLAs continue to keep aloof from party meets
Srinagar, July 19: With People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti making efforts to keep her flock of 28 legislators together, the disgruntled leaders are staying away from party activities. In the last two weeks, Mehbooba has started closed door meeting with senior party functionaries and legislators. This is an effort to ensure all the legislators stay with the party in the wake of rebellion within the PDP by some of the MLAs and MLCs. A source in the PDP said Mehbooba has been meeting with the party functionaries and legislators for the last around two weeks since her return from New Delhi. “Mehbooba is making all efforts to keep the rebel leaders in the party,” the source said. She has sent invitations to party members from north Kashmir for a meeting on Friday. However, the disgruntled are unlikely to attend the meeting. “I received a phone call from Fairview (Mehbooba residence) for the meeting that will be held either on Friday or Saturday. We have not decided yet but I stand what Imran Raza Ansari has said,” MLA Tangmarg Mohammad Abbas Wani said. “I think no one among us (rebels) will attend the meet.” Disgruntled PDP MLA Abid Ansari said that his nephew Imran Raza Ansari, who is MLA Pattan, will not attend the meet. “We will not go there. Imran is in Iran,” Abid said. Another rebel legislator MLA Baramulla Javaid Beigh said he received an invitation for the meeting. “But we have not taken any decision whether to attend the meeting or not,” Beigh said. On Wednesday, she interacted with party leaders from south Kashmir. However, rebel MLA Abdul Majeed Padroo did not attend the meeting. The rebellion has led to speculations that the BJP was working behind the scene to cobble up a requisite number of 44 to form a new government in the state. The PDP has 28 members, the BJP, 25, the National Conference, 15, the Congress, 12, the Peoples Conference led by Sajjad Lone, 2, and there are five independent legislators. Five rebel legislators Imran Raza Ansari, Javaid Hussain Beigh, Abdul Majeed Padroo, Yasir Reshi, and Saifuddin Bhat last week also addressed a joint press conference where they called Mehbooba “incompetent” to head the party.