Judgement Day For PDP: Valley To Give Its Verdict
23 April 2006
The Hindustan Times
Jammu: PDP'S DAY of reckoning is here. On Monday, voters in three Assembly segments will decide whether their mandate for a regional alternative to the National Conference in 2002 was right or wrong. PDP is the only party contesting all the three seats - Sangrama, Pattan and Rafiabad, while the National Conference is contesting only two. It is backing independent Shoiab Lone, a PDP rebel, in Sangrama. The Congress is out of the picture. It had conceded all the three seats to ally PDP 'with a heavy heart.' The equation is intriguing. PDP has staked everything for Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari in Pattan and for Dillawar Mir in Rafiabad. Both Ansari and Mir had won on NC tickets in 2002 and parted ways with the party in 2005. Perhaps, the father-daughter duo Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and daughter Mehbooba had much more to offer. For Ansari, it was a return to the roots. He was close to Mufti during his Congress days. However, for Mir it was just another switch. He had sided with Mufti in 1984 to bring down the NC government and help Ghulam Mohammad Shah form the government. While the PDP has thrown its weight behind the turncoats to make inroads into NC bastions, it dropped the son of slain leader Ghulam Nabi Lone like hot patato. The PDP apparently defied the inheritance law of Kashmir politics by denying him a ticket. In Pampore, it had chosen the son of an assassinated MLA as the the party candidate in 2003. But rules were upended in Sangrama.