JAMMU: In yet another jolt to former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP), its senior leader and ex-MLC Surinder Choudhary resigned from the basic membership of the party on Tuesday, alleging that the party has been hijacked by a coterie comprising drawing-room politicians, land-grabbers and the mafia. Earlier on March 17, former J&K deputy CM Muzaffar Hussain Baig had quit PDP.
District Development Council member from Nowshera Dr Manohar Singh, Block Development Council chairman Bodh Raj, 16 sarpanches, 70 panches, three councillors and many office-bearers of zone committees also resigned from the party with Choudhary.
Addressing a press conference here, Choudhary claimed that PDP president Mehbooba was under the influence of some functionaries and was unable to distinguish between right and wrong, and had deviated from the core agenda of “peace with dignity” as envisaged by party founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
“We have been forced to take this step because PDP has been hijacked by some drawing-room politicians, land-grabbers, and land mafia, who have gathered around her (Mehbooba),” he said.
Choudhary had already resigned from the post of PDP general secretary and its political affairs committee on March 17 after the reorganisation of the party by Mehbooba soon after being re-elected party president. He said, “Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s regime was the golden era in the history of J&K, which paved the way for the revival of business, tourism and even cross-border routes, benefiting the public. His vision was even supported by former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee.”
He added: “Unfortunately, within four years of the demise of Mufti Sahib, PDP is facing an existential crisis as all senior leaders have quit the party. Mehbooba never bothered to ask leaders why they were leaving the party. I resigned from the two posts but she did not try to reach out to me,” Choudhary said.
Underlining that nobody pressured him to leave the party, he claimed that a false narrative was being created within the party that most of the functionaries were quitting due to pressure from central agencies.