July 2018 News

After Rebellion, 21 MLAs Meet Mehbooba, Assure Full Support

8 July 2018
Rising Kashmir
Sameer Showkin Lone

Srinagar: After revolt from six legislators, at least 21 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLAs Sunday met party president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured their full support to her. The meeting between legislators and Mehbooba is seen as a major jolt to government formation efforts by disgruntled PDP legislators. Sources said the legislators met Mehbooba at her Fairview residence at Gupkar, here today. They said after her return from Delhi yesterday, 21 PDP MLAs called on Mehbooba to raise their issues and grievances. Sources said Mehbooba held one-on-one meeting with every legislator throughout the day. 'We have full faith on Mehbooba's leadership. We raised our issues and some minor grievances with the party president. She listened to us,' said MLA Wachi Aijaz Ahmad Mir. MLA Rafiabad Yawar Mir said Mehbooba assured them that internal issues, if any, would be sorted out. 'We are with the party president'. 'There are internal issues everywhere, even in the families. But that doesn't mean we will quit the party. We have full faith in our party leadership,' said MLA Tral Mushtaq Shah. Several other legislators told Rising Kashmir that they suggested of submitting voluntary resignation from the Legislative Assembly to her to avoid poaching and horse trading. Sources said two former ministers Haseeb Drabu and Abdul Haq Khan contacted Mehbooba over phone and assured their full support to her. 'Drabu called from Mumbai while Khan called from Jaipur. Both assured full support to Mehbooba. They cited some internal issues within PDP, which the party president assured will be sorted out,' they said. Sources said the disgruntled MLAs - Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abbas Wani, Majeed Paddar and Javaid Baig - stayed away anddid not meet Mehbooba. It would be interesting to see if the disgruntled legislators, who openly revolted against Mehbooba, would turn up for the meeting. Sources said PDP would convene legislative party meeting soon to discuss all issues that have rattled the party. Earlier, influential Shia leader and former minister Imran Ansari had claimed that majority of MLAs are with him and talks were going on with likeminded people about formation of government in the state. 'All those MLAs who were disrespected by Muftis and their aides have come together. Those who were always disrespected and treated as 'toilet paper' want to come together and have a new platform,' Ansari had told Rising Kashmir. The party is also likely to go for a massive restructuring with many new faces likely to take over the key posts, another PDP MLA said. In the 87-member J&K Assembly, PDP has 28 members, BJP 25, National Conference 15, Congress 12, Peoples Conference 2 and rest are independents.