Soon after Mehbooba Muftis takeover as the J&K Chief Minister, it has turned out that all is not hunky dory with her party. Top PDP leader and the former finance minister Tariq Hameed Karra has accused Syed Altaf Bukhari, a works minister in previous PDP-BJP coalition, of being the kingpin of an attempted coup in PDP. Altaf Bukhari was about to take over as the Chief Minister. He wanted to split the PDP and make a government without Mehbooba Mufti, Karra told the media soon after Mehbooba took oath as the Chief Minister. He was also scathing about Dr Haseeb Drabu and Naeem Akhter, saying they were primarily responsible for the non-performance of the previous PDP-BJP coalition. They failed Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Mufti Sayeed didnt fail, Karra said. He also accused them of distancing Mufti Sayeed from the party cadres and alienating employees, teachers and the masses from PDP.
This is a devastating revelation about PDP on the day of its resuming the coalition government with BJP and tells us about the sorry state of affairs within PDP. In his defence, Bukhari has said that his goal was not to thrust another election on the people of the state. What does that mean? Did he then thought of forming the government independently of Mehbooba if she continued to hold out until the centre agreed to concede to her demands? However, Bukhari has insisted that he actually wanted Mehbooba to take over as the Chief Minister. But if she didnt want to take the chair unless some of her minimum demands were fulfilled, why was Bukhari so keen to not have fresh elections held in the state.
However, as of now, the complete truth about the alleged intrigue is not known. What is known, however, is that Bukhari along with three other former PDP ministers has been dropped from the new cabinet. They are Javed Mustafa Mir, Abdul Majid Paddar and Ashraf Mir. Javed Mustafa is one of the seniormost PDP leaders. Bukhari had become well known as the works minister in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-BJP coalition, mostly for the repair work on the roads, left in decrepit condition by the September 2014 deluge.
Where does the PDP go from here? If indeed the allegations of a coup having been in works is true, it reflects badly on the mainstream leadership in the state. For it only reinforces their long held stereotype in society as generally corrupt and compromised individuals, single-mindedly focussed on the pursuit of power. This stereotype also denies them any serious commitment to any ideology espoused by them. And this kind of the leadership undermines the capacity in any party to fight for the rights of their people.
Was it this alleged brewing rebellion within her party that finally brought Mehbooba around? After all, in the end she even gave up her earlier insistence for the action on a few key points of the Agenda of Alliance before she took power. Karras outburst would make you believe this was the reason for Mehboobas apparently unconditional renewal of alliance with BJP.
Now that Mehbooba has faken over as CM, the details of the alleged attempted coup should be laid bare. Kashmir has witnessed enough of such unseemly revolts in the past and they have debilitated the democracy as it operates in the state. Getting to the bottom of the failed recent rebellion may change nothing on the ground but it will at least expose the faces behind it and serve as some discouragement to such attempts in future.
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