PDP Poised For Party Overhaul

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SRINAGAR: Ahead of the party forming the government in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) office bearers have resigned from their posts on Friday to pave way for restructuring of the party. 

“The office bearers of Peoples Democratic Party — general secretaries Nizamudin Bhat, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Ved Mahajan, Mehboob Iqbal and political advisor to party president Peerzada Mansoor Hussain have resigned and relinquished their offices with immediate effect,” a PDP spokesman said. 

“All the leaders have expressed full faith in the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti and have pledged support in the interest of party and people of the state,” he added. 

The party is being restructured nearly three months after the sudden demise of Mufti Sayeed, who had founded it in 1999 and was its patron when he passed away. 

Mehbooba Mufti will be sworn in as the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on April 4, a party leader said on Friday.

“Mehbooba Mufti sahiba will be sworn in as Chief Minister on April 4,” PDP leader Amitabh Mattoo said in Srinagar.

Mr. Mattoo, who worked as an advisor to the former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, expressed the hope that 56-year-old Ms. Mehbooba would usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in the region.

Meanwhile, sources in the PDP and its alliance partner BJP said they have also conveyed the mutually agreed date for the swearing-in ceremony to Governor N.N. Vohra.

The date for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet was decided after deliberations between the leadership of both the parties, they said.

Asked whether there were any differences between the coalition partners which led to the delay in the swearing-in ceremony, the sources said there were no differences but deliberations between alliance partners happen and they take time.

The PDP and the BJP had staked claim for government formation on March 26, two days after Ms. Mehbooba was elected as the PDP’s legislature party leader.

After the death of her father, who headed PDP-BJP coalition government for 10 months from March 1 last year until his death on January 7 this year, Ms. Mehbooba was reluctant to take over as Chief Minister coalition government.

She was seeking assurances from the Central government on implementation of Agenda of Alliance, Common Minimum Programme (CMP) framed by the two parties last year.

Ms. Mehbooba also sought some J&K-specific confidence building measures.

However, her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 22 ended the over two-month-long deadlock on government formation.

Ms. Mehbooba had described her meeting with the Prime Minister as positive, saying she was satisfied.

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