SRINAGAR: In an attempt to stem rebellion in the party, PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's uncle Sartaj Madni on Monday resigned as vice president of the party to woo back the dissident party legislators, who have rebelled against party leadership and named the party as "Family Democratic Party".
"I have submitted my resignation from the post of vice president to party president Mehbooba Mufti. I have resigned in the larger interests of the party and for its strengthening, stability and unity," Madni said. Madni is the maternal uncle of Mehbooba and was appointed as PDP vice president after party patron and former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed's demise in January 2016.
Madni's resignation is seen as an attempt by Mehbooba to reach out to the dissident legislators, who rebelled against the party leadership following the collapse of PDP-BJP coalition government last month. At least five PDP MLAs including Abid Ansari, Imran Ansari, Mohammad Abbas Wani, Abdd Padder and Javaid Baig and two MLCs Saif-ud-Din Bhat and Yasir Reshi have rebelled against the party and accused the party leadership of nepotism and favouritism.
The rebel legislators have alleged that Mehbooba have turned the party into Family Democratic Party by handing key positions to his relatives including her brother, uncle and cousin. The dissident legislators have claimed that their support is growing in the party and more legislators would come forward to openly oppose party leadership.
"In coming days, you will see more disgruntled PDP legislators joining our ranks. The resignation by Madni is a drama and nothing else," said a dissident PDP legislator. The dissident legislators led by former minister and influential Shia leader Imran Ansari are in touch with Sajjad Gani Lone's Peoples Conference and BJP on government formation.
After the fall of PDP-BJP coalition government on June 19, the Governor's rule was imposed in the State and barring BJP, all other parties have demanded dissolution of the State Assembly. In the 87-member J&K Assembly, PDP has 28 members, BJP 25, National Conference 15, Congress 12, Peoples Conference 2 and rest are independents. For forming the government in the State, the magical number is 44 and the PDP dissidents are trying to woo more disgruntled legislators to cobble up alliance with BJP and Peoples Conference. There are speculations that the coalition government may be in place after the completion of Amarnath yatra on August 26.