The rebellion in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to brew even though two of its eight disgruntled lawmakers returned to the party-fold last week.
Taking to Rising Kashmir, one of the rebel leaders, MLA Gulmarg, Muhammad Abbas Wani said the party tried to establish contact with him but he had not joined back PDP as of now.
“There are rumours in my assembly constituency about my rapprochement with the party but that hasn’t happened,” Wani said. “I am not sure who was spreading these rumours.”
He said the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti had called him a day before the meeting for taking a decision on Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayat polls.
“She (Mehbooba) asked me to come for the meeting but I didn’t go,” Wani said.
He said the people who have elected him are unhappy with the functioning of the party.
“They (PDP) treated me in a very bad manner,” Wani said.
The MLA Gulmarg said he discussed with his party workers the treatment meted out to him by the former PDP ministers and party office bearers who advised him to stay away from the party.
“I haven’t thought of going back,” he said.
Wani said during his conversation with the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti over phone, he did not raise any such issue.
“She asked me when I will reconcile with the party. I didn’t respond to that question out of my respect for her position in the party but I didn’t attend the meeting that asked me to attend,” Wani said.
He said he had not rebelled against the party because he was not given a ministerial berth or some other perks.
“During this year’s budget session I raised the issue of ill-treatment and indifference being meted out to MLAs by the government,” the MLA Gulmarg said. “But till the PDP-BJP government fell in June nobody bothered to ask me as to why I was complaining.”
He said he had issues pertaining to the leadership of the party and the office bearers who never bothered to look into the problems faced by the MLAs.
“I know Mehboobaji might have been very busy as chief minister but then there were other senior people in the party who kept silent,” he said.
Last week two disgruntled lawmakers, Abdul Majeed Padder and Javaid Baig joined the party back after re-soliciting by the party leadership which has not taken any action against the rebel leaders.
PDP chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said the party had left the space open for all leaders as no action had been taken against anybody.
“We know they are all our own people,” Mir said referring to the disgruntled leaders.
PDP MLC Yasir Reshi, another disgruntled leader, told Rising Kashmir that his issues with the party were very different than those raised by the other rebel leaders.
“I don’t think there can be any talks on the issues I raised,” he said.
Reshi said the question to which he was seeking an answer was about what the party did since coming to power in 2015 in comparison to what they were supposed to do as per the founding principles of the party.
“It’s not about my small and petty issues not being addressed by the previous PDP government,” he said. “The present PDP has failed to understand what even a party means.”
Reshi said, “We need to ask ourselves what we are doing and why the party was founded by Mufti (Sayeed) Sahab.”
He said his issue was not with any of the leaders but with the PDP President.
“Small issues don’t matter in the party,” Reshi said.
The PDP MLC said he was in a “state of shock” after introspecting the party functioning in power.
“I ask myself what this was all about? What our sacrifices were for,” he said.
Reshi said he did not care that the party had nominated him as an MLC.
“They made me an MLC because I garnered 32,000 votes but if they ask me to vacate the post, I will,” he said.
Reshi said he was a follower of Mufti Sayeed’s ideology and whoever had caused harm to it was his adversary.
“If Mehbooba (Mufti) Ji or Naeem (Akhtar) Sahab or I have in any way caused any disrepute to the Mufti Sayeed’s ideology, then I have a problem with that person,” he said.
PDP MLA and former finance minister Haseeb Drabu is the new entrant in the party’s disgruntled lot.
After declining the membership of the Political Affairs Committee of PDP, Drabu wrote on Twitter, “Repulsive how paratroopers with proximity to Mehbooba Mufti in power are now trashing her.”
Hitting out at “paratroopers”, Drabu said, “With benefit of hindsight all are wise to say they should have resigned. Point is they didn’t. I did. From the cabinet, assembly and party 8 months before being dropped. But that’s another story.”
Drabu has been keeping himself away from the party politics since the day he was sacked in March this year for his comments on Kashmir issue which did not go well with the party’s stated public stand on the issue.
In his letter to the PDP president declining the PAC membership, Drabu thanked Mehbooba for his nomination but expressed his “inability” to be part of the policy-making body of the party.
He said the formulation of the new PAC was “appeasement” rather than “atonement”.
“PAC has, in the recent past, not only lacked authority but was consciously made to be seen as lacking authority. In this context, the ongoing party reorganisation and reconstitution of the PAC appears to be a more of an appeasement than atonement,” he wrote in his letter.
Meanwhile, sources in the party reveal that ice has not been broken with MLA Pattan Imran Ansari and his uncle Abid Ansari, who represents Zadibal assembly segment.
While the two had openly rebelled against the party citing nepotism and family rule, the restructuring of the party posts has not appeased the duo.
A senior PDP leader said the uncle-nephew combine was playing hardball with the party in view of the party’s faltering position.
“The leaders close to and family members of party president they wanted out have been shown the door yet they want themselves to be installed on the party positions,” he said.
The party has also failed to batter a deal with MLC Saifuddin Bhat, who, as per sources, is on the same page as Ansaris.