PDP leader lashes out at party colleagues
Differences in the PDP over the issue of a party delegation meeting its detained president Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar
Jammu: Differences in the PDP over the issue of a party delegation meeting its detained president Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar came out in the open on Monday with a senior leader alleging that those involved in the decision did not take on board the leadership in Jammu.
PDP General Secretary and former legislator Surinder Choudhary alleged that some "land grabbers and land mafia" within the party have taken the decision on the meeting. Within hours of announcing that a team of party leaders from Jammu led by General Secretary Ved Mahajan will meet Mehbooba in Srinagar on Monday following permission from the administration, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) late Sunday said it has decided to defer the scheduled meeting but gave no reason. Sources within the party, however, had said the had visit was deferred because of lack of unanimity on the composition of the delegation.
"They are not the well-wishers of the party and have in fact destroyed its base in Jammu," Choudhary told reporters. Mehbooba is under detention since August 5, the day Centre abrogated the Article 370 provisions of the Constitution and announced bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories. The PDP's announcement that it has been permitted to meet Mehbooba had come on a day when a 15-member delegation of the National Conference from Jammu met their party president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah in Srinagar for the first time since their detention. "I do not know where the (PDP) meeting took place and who took this decision (sending a delegation to meet Mehbooba).
"I visited Kashmir twice after the abrogation of Article 370 to meet Mehbooba but was denied permission by local authorities," Choudhary said. He said PDP is not the National Conference's 'B team' to follow its footsteps. "Why no meeting was convened to discuss the prevailing situation post abrogation of Article 370. "Kashmir is shut, people in Ladakh are not satisfied and Jammu region has its own grievances after facing discrimination over the past 70 years," he said. He also questioned the timing of the meeting.
"How did they ignore these festivals to plan a visit of the delegation to Srinagar?" he asked. "Those who have taken this decision are in fact land grabbers and land mafia who have destroyed the party in Jammu and do not even guarantee vote of their own spouses to the party," he alleged. "What stopped them from visiting the party president... they are basically afraid (of action by the state administration) because of their misdeeds," he said.