Major setback to PDP in Jammu; three senior leaders resign

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Srinagar, Oct 26 (PTI) In a blow to the PDP, three of its founding members, including former Rajya Sabha MP T S Bajwa, on Monday resigned from the party, saying they were feeling 'uncomfortable and suffocated' due to party chief Mehbooba Mufti's 'undesirable utterances', especially those which hurt patriotic sentiments.

The resignations came after Mufti said on Friday that she would not hold the tricolour till Jammu and Kashmir's special position, including its separate state flag, was restored.

In their two-page letter to Mufti, the three -- Bajwa, former MLC Ved Mahajan and former state secretary Hussain Ali Wafa -- said they were 'feeling quite uncomfortable over some of your (party chief) actions and undesirable utterances, especially which hurt the patriotic sentiments'.

The leaders said that despite several undesirable developments and steps 'we stood like a rock with the party and the leadership inspite of the situation in front of the party'.

Instead of overcoming the challenges from within and outside by a process of broader consultation and trust, some elements within the party started pulling the PDP and its leadership in a particular direction, deviating from the basic principle, agenda and philosophy, making it further difficult to face the saner voices in the society.

'Some of the actions and utterances are unpardonable and unforgettable by the people for the party to emerge out and move in a direction of its fundamental approach and identity, besides regaining its image as a political alternative to the people.

'In view of this, we feel uncomfortable and suffocated in the party, forcing us to take a difficult decision of leaving the party,' the three said in a common resignation letter.

They also referred to the formation of the PDP, saying it was to provide an alternative voice for every region of the erstwhile state and also to channelise the dissent, especially among youth, and prevent them from falling in the trap of anti-India elements in adopting the path of destruction in the absence of any credible platform.

The three leaders referred to earlier coalitions with the Congress which had been able to restore peace and harmony and ensure equitable political share.

The PDP also came for another 'bigger challenge' in 2014 when its late president Mufti Mohammed Sayeed took a 'difficult decision' of joining hands with the ideologically opposite BJP.

'Although he was aware of the difficulties of such a decision, he attempted to convert the challenge into new opportunities in furtherance of his vision for a better future and more harmonious relationship between the people of the state within the Indian union.' However, the experiment did not work on expected lines and due to the untimely death of Sayeed the entire process was derailed, they said.

Mufti has come for sharp criticism over her remarks, with some BJP leaders terming them seditious statements. PTI MIJ SKL AAR AAR