‘3 Top PDP Leaders ‘Hobnobbing’ With BJP’

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Srinagar: At  least three top leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are hobnobbing with the BJP “with an aim to divide the party and continue the alliance in case of a break-up”. The old guard of the PDP feel left out as they think a few youngsters are running the party, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

The party’s leadership, the report said,  is looking “at ways to keep the alliance afloat” and “stay in power” because other options appear to be running out. Plunging the party into a deeper crisis is the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s unproductive meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The PM Modi has rebuffed her proposal for a dialogue with stakeholders in the Valley.   

“There is a sense (in the party) that the alliance may not survive for long but most leaders feel that an immediate break-up will be suicidal. If we lose power right now, our condition will be worse than the Jamaat (e-Islami) workers after the Bhutto hanging in 1979,’’ a PDP leader is quoted to have said, referring to the anti-Jamaat riots in the Valley after the hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. “No one disagrees with the mood on the ground.”

Several PDP leaders and Mehbooba Mufti loyalists have expressed fears of a split in the party. “We know that it doesn’t suit the BJP to dismiss the government and impose Governor’s rule. They won’t break the alliance too. We have our own calculation,’’ one of the leaders said. “If they break the alliance, the BJP won’t be in power in the state for a long time because they won’t find partners. We apprehend they will instead split our party and continue an alliance.”

The leader said “the only hope” is that “we (PDP) manage to “reclaim our narrative before a break-up with the BJP… a break-up has to happen on our terms. That’s the only way we will stay in the game. That’s perhaps the only way for the entire mainstream to survive.” Several PDP leaders told The Indian Express that “on the ground, people including supporters feel the party has completely surrendered before the BJP”.

The leader further said the PDP has decided to “become more vocal on issues, start talking about self-rule, demilitarisation etc again” and “hope that the insistence on implementation of the agenda of alliance and situation on ground will shift before a break-up”.

Another PDP leader said the current situation in Kashmir will only impact the PDP. “The BJP isn’t affected. In fact, they want harsher measures to control the situation because that suits them politically,’’ the leader said, adding “we are in serious trouble”

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