PDP Expels 8 Leaders Over Parleys With Govt

PDP logo- Representational Pic

SRINAGAR - The People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday expelled eight party leaders for going "against the will of the people" by engaging in parleys with the government.

"PDP expels leaders for going against the will of the people," the party said in a press release posted on its official Twitter handle.

The leaders who have been expelled are Dilawar Mir, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Zaffar Iqbal, Abdul Majeed Padroo, Raja Manzoor Khan, Javaid Hussain Baig, Qamar Hussain and Abdul Rahim Rather -- all former MLAs.

"In view of the development post August 5 and the unilateral move of the government of India which has violated the will and hurt the sentiments of people, it has come to attention of the party that certain party leaders have been part of the parleys which go against the interests of the state, official position and core beliefs of the party," the release said.

It said the party disciplinary committee has recommended the expulsion of all these leaders from the basic membership of the party.

The expelled leaders have thrown their weight behind former PDP leader Syed Altaf Bukhari and were part of the delegation that met Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu On Tuesday.

They also met the visiting envoys from 15 countries, who arrived here on Thursday on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. This is the first visit by diplomats since August last year when Jammu and Kashmir's special status was revoked and it was downsized to a union territory.

Baig Says Mehbooba Provoked Delhi To Downgrade J&K Status

Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig on Thursday said former chief minister and party president Mehbooba Mufti's "provocative" statement over Article 370 resulted in downgrading of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

Mufti had in 2017 warned the Centre that if special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution are tinkered with, then there would be no one in the state to hold the tricolour.

"The statement was made by Mehbooba Mufti in my absence. I was not there when she made it. I have on record said that the statement like it resulted in downgrading of the state (JK) into union territories," Baig, who is one of the founding members of the PDP and former deputy chief minister, told reporters here.

He added the "threatening statement" to New Delhi should not have been made.

"If Jammu and Kashmir has to live together and if we have to bat for our rights, we have to talk with decency and humility," the PDP leader said.

Baig criticized the "provocative" statement of Mufti and said one cannot "threaten" the top leadership in New Delhi to see one's grievances being heard.

"We cannot get anything by browbeating and threatening Modi ji, home minister or NSA. As citizens of India, we should put before them our grievances and our problems with humility," he added.

"We believe in that approach. It was a provocative statement and it should not have been made," Baig said.

Mufti has been critical of the Centre over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370.

In August last year when the Centre announced abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories -- J and K and Ladakh, Mufti had said India failed Kashmir in keeping its promises.

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