Following the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a move by former Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has captured the attention of the opposition as well as the people in the valley. Amid political tensions within the party, Mufti displayed a show of strength by attending Vajpayee’s funeral along with almost all the People Democratic Party’s (PDP) top leaders and lawmakers including Ab Rehman Veeri, Haseeb Drabu, Naeem Akhtar and others.
Calling it a low-level political stunt, Yasir Reshi, one of the dissenting voices within the party and an MLC told Newsclick, “There was no need to do politics on someone’s death. Not all legislators had gone. Only 14-15 had gone. Though she had been trying to convince all the legislators since yesterday, but she failed to do so. 14 out of 28 doesn’t make it a big deal. This type of low-level politics has never happened in the whole country which she is attempting to do.”
Meanwhile, the dissenters have, time and again, said that if given a chance they would love to form a party with like-minded people. There have been reports that the dissenters may join Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference. “She wanted to do politics, but she has failed. There was no need to parade the party people. Out of 14 legislators who are with Mehbooba in Delhi, you never know how many will be like-minded and will come to us. You never know. That time will decide. But I have never seen such low-level politics. This clearly shows that she doesn’t believe in her party’s people. This is the reason behind why PDP is in ruins,” Reshi said.
Sources have confirmed that 19 legislators from PDP have attended the funeral prayers. Observers believe that with these recent developments, the chances for Sajjad Lone as CM are increasingly appearing to be obscure. As 44 is the magic number required to form the government, Lone would require at least 16 defectors from PDP, whereas Mufti’s actions show her attempt to establish that all her party legislators are with her.
“There is a difference between having a desire for forming the government than having the resources to form one. Yes, the desire is always there but we still don’t have resources. That difference is there. Let’s see what happens in the long run,” said Javed Baig, another disgruntled member and MLA from PDP.
Previously, Imran Ansari had said that they have no problem with forming a government with BJP if given a chance. Talking to Rising Kashmir, Ansari had said, “If it’s for the development of the state, then I am all for BJP. When Omar or Mehbooba does it, there is no problem but when a third person goes with BJP, he is questioned.”
Meanwhile, BJP has been apprehensive of forging a new alliance and forming a government in the state. Former Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta told Newsclick, “We are thinking of forming a new government with Sajjad Lone. We are not sure as of now. Time will reveal. Meanwhile, we are happy with the governor’s rule.”
Kashmir has been in a state of political uncertainty since the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the PDP government and moved towards governor’s rule. Currently, Kashmir is under the governor’s rule of N.N. Vohra.