Mehbooba Mufti Quits LS Seat

9 January 2009
Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: After being elected to the state assembly, the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has finally decided to resign from her Lok Sabha seat. “I had asked my secretary to send my resignation (to the Lok Sabha Speaker) few days ago. By now the resignation must have reached there,” Mehbooba told Greater Kashmir on Friday. Mehbooba won the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from south Kashmir’s Islamabad constituency. She got elected to the JK assembly from Wachi constituency in the recent election. Now she had to take a decision on either to retain her seat in the Lok Sabha or enter the state assembly. Her resignation follows the announcement by the National Conference that it would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the Center. Earlier the reports said the PDP chief will take a decision on resignation only after the party legislators’ meeting to choose their head. “The nomination of the legislature party head has nothing to do with my resignation,” Mehbooba said. On Sunday, the PDP severed its ties with UPA citing the alliance between National Conference and Congress in JK. Senior leader of the party Nizam-ud-Din Bhat said the legislature party meeting will be held in Jammu in coming few days to choose its leader. “She (Mehbooba) is the ideal choice to lead and further strengthen the party,” said Bhat who was elected from the Bandipora assembly constituency. “Every party leader is supporting her to lead the party,” said another senior PDP leader. However, the PDP president said it was up to the party to nominate its leader for the assembly. “So far no decision has been taken in this regard,” she said. She reiterated that her party would play the role of a decisive opposition in the state. “We would live by our promises made with people. We will play the role of a constructive opposition and ensure that people get better governance,” she said. Observers said it is expected that both the PDP and Bhartiya Janta Party are going to keep the NC-Congress alliance on its toes over a range of issues. State BJP has already stated that the party would ensure that the people of Jammu get their rights and would press for fresh delimitation of assembly seats in JK.