PDP Plans A Show Of Strength On Mufti’s Death Anniversary

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SRINAGAR — The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which is weathering a severe dissent in its ranks is planning a show of strength on the death anniversary of its founder and former chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on January 7.

According to the PDP sources former CM and the party chief, Mehbooba Mufti, will address a mega rally in Bijbehara on January 7, on her father’s death anniversary.

The party’s rally assumes significance as it is battling with a problem of number of its party leaders quitting its ranks. It suffered a set back as many including former Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu,  former Minister, Imran Ansari, and his uncle, Abid Ansari, ex-MLA from Tangmarg, Abbas Wani, quit the Mehbooba Mufti-led party.

The Bijbehara rally has been planned after Mehbooba met party leaders at a meeting which was chaired by senior PDP leader Abdul Rehman Veeri, in southern Kashmir.

Sources said that the PDP has further decided to make  harassment to militant families as the “cornerstone” of the party’s political campaign ahead of the elections. Mehbooba earlier visited Pulwama, where she met with a “militant family” which was allegedly harassed by the police in Jammu. After the meeting, Mehbooba warned of “dangerous consequences” if harassment of militants’ families  was not stopped.

“What is the fault of the sister of a militant? She has been stripped and beaten by the SHO of Trikuta Nagar and of Bhatindi (in Jammu). First, you (male police officials) cannot touch a woman and you should have women police for that. Then, her husband and brother have (also) been beaten,” Mehbooba said.

“I want to ask the governor, if you have a fight with a militant, why are his relatives, especially his sister, beaten? We will not allow this. I want to tell the governor and warn the police as well that if there is another such incident, there will be dangerous consequences,” she added.

Sources said that the PDP chief is learnt to have asked the leadership to ensure that  the rally at Bijbehara was attended by all the former-MLAs and office bearers “ to set the stage” for election campaign in Kashmir.

Earlier Governor, Satyapal Malik, had in November dissolved the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, months after BJP pulled out of the PDP led government in the state. The decision to dissolve the assembly came even as the PDP, Congress and NC were about to stake a claim to form the government. The governor had claimed that there were horse-trading attempts.

 umber has also been seized. “Further investigation in the matter is going on,” said a police official.

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