Disgruntled MLAs give PDP the jitters

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary Ram Madhav on Saturday may have attempted to put to rest the speculation on government formation in J&K, but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) accused the BJP “of making bids to split local parties”.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah alleged that the State unit of the BJP had admitted to being party to efforts to break the PDP. “Power at any cost would seem to be the guiding philosophy [of the BJP],” the former Chief Minister said.

Turning against party

Mr. Abdullah’s remarks come days after at least five PDP MLAs Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abbas Wani, and Javaid Beigh and Yasir Reshi, MLC, hinted at quitting the party and expressed “disillusionment with Ms. Mufti’s leadership.”

Mr. Ansari hinted at many leaders from the Congress and the NC “ready to quit their parties.” “J&K is set to witness a political tsunami,” he said.

However, no MLA has put in papers. The anti-defection law in J&K is stringent.

What compounds worries for PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is the growing number of disgruntled members, like Rajpora Haseeb Drabu and Lolab Abdul Haq Khan, MLAs, who are maintaining a “meaningful distance from the party’s central leadership”.

Delhi meetings

Mr. Drabu’s meeting in New Delhi with Peoples Conference (PC) chief Sajjad Lone, considered close to the BJP and Mr. Madhav, fuelled speculation of a third front being formulated ahead of the Assembly polls. Mr. Ansari is also considered close to Mr. Drabu and Mr. Lone, who is emerging as a point-man to cobble a third front ahead of the elections.

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