SRINAGAR Oct. 26: Three senior Jammu-based leaders of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) including a former MP on Monday resigned from its basic membership, saying they felt “uncomfortable and suffocated” in the party “forcing us to take a difficult decision of leaving it.”.
The quitting has come amidst increasing outrage, mainly in Jammu, against PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s recent assertion that she won’t raise any other flag unless the state flag of Jammu and Kashmir is restored.
At a press conference here on Friday, her first after her release from a 14-month-long detention, Ms. Mufti had on being asked about her statement that there would be no one left in J&K to raise the Indian national flag if Article 370 was abrogated that she gave days before the erstwhile state was stripped of its special status and split up into two Union Territories on August 5 last year, she had said, “I’m not going to raise any other flag till the flag of the Jammu and Kashmir state is returned.”
Accusing Ms. Mufti of hurting of nationalistic sentiments, three party leaders - former MP TS Bajwa, former MLC Ved Mahajan and former PDP state secretary Choudhary Hussain Ali Waffa resigned from their posts as well as from the party membership. Mr. Bajwa and Mr. Mahajan were the founding members of the PDP whereas Mr. Waffa had joined it in 2008.
In a letter to the party president, they said some of her actions and utterances and people around her were “unpardonable and unforgettable by the people for the party to emerge out and move in the direction of its fundamental approach, and identity besides regaining its image as a political alternative to the people.”
The joint resignation letter begins with, “We, your colleagues in Jammu region, most of whom remained associated with the party through every thick and thin since its formation are feeling quit uncomfortable over some of your actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt the patriotic sentiments.”
It also said that Ms. Mufti’s father and former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed had twin broader objectives behind the formation of PDP. “First, to create a viable political alternative in J&K to represent the regional aspirations of the people especially in the wake of vacuum in the shape of any mainstream alternative political voice in Kashmir Valley and, secondly, to channelise the dissent especially amongst youth and prevent them from falling in the trap of anti India elements, in adopting the path of destruction in the absence of credible platform to represent their genuine feelings, secularism and broader interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the interests of the nation were the underlying principles.”
The letter further reads that after Mr. Mufti’s death the party derailed from the path chosen by him and that most recently instead of overcoming the challenges faced by it from within and outside by a process of broader consultations and trust some elements within it “started pulling the party and leadership in a particular direction, thus deviating from the basic principles, agenda and philosophy, making it further difficult to face the saner voices in the society.”...