Despite closed door meeting with Govt, Doda MLA remained party loyalist
Jammu Tawi, April 18:
Although independent MLA from Zanskar Mohamamd Bakir Rizvi remained the highlight of yesterday’s elections to Upper House but MLA Doda was the real ‘game changer’ in entire exercise as his ‘golden vote’ despite ‘diktats’ from his state government level sailed BJP’s Vikram Randhawa to the Legislative Council.
According to sources, soon after annoyed with PDP, MLA Rizvi cast his vote in favour of Randhawa, there was a mess around in the political arena especially in PDP lobby following which the Chief Minister called on her Deputy Dr Nirmal Singh telephonically.
“By noon, the dust was cleared and with Rizvi’s vote into Randhawa’s kitty upset PDP as both PDP by that time had claimed 29 votes but BJP was having 28 at that time,” sources said adding that it was Shakti Parihar, who had yet to cast his vote. Senior PDP leader and Cabinet Minister Altaf Bukhari, who was assigned to supervise the polling, briefed Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti about the political game around and thus swift action was initiated. “After Chief Minister’s call to Dr Nirmal Singh, Parihar had a closed door meeting with him in his chamber where he was insisted to cast his vote in favour of PDP’s Abdul Qayoom Dar. Even, Altaf Bhukahri was also present there in the meeting who tried to convince that it was decided to share two seats each in Upper House by both coalition partners. So, if one vote is being cast to PDP candidate, it will remain on number two in merit,” sources added.
They said that MLA Shakti Parihar, who was likely to obey the orders, had a discussion with the state party president and MLA Sat Sharma, who told him that Whip will be issued against him (Parihar) in case the BJP candidate will cast his vote in favour of PDP’s candidate.
“Parihar however, was told to fulfill the commitment and deal between PDP-BJP partners of wining two seats each by voting in favour of Dar but being loyal to party, he (Parihar) voted to own party candidate,” sources asserted.
Sources further said that the Parihar’s vote to Randhawa’s kitty upset Mehbooba Mufti, who according to sources had expressed annoyance with the coalition partners as the exercise of convincing the MLA Doda remained futile.
“The lone vote of Shakti Parihar was the ‘game changer’ in the MLC Polls, which not only saddened the Chief Minister but further tensed the relation between the coalition partners,” sources added.
Pertinently Independent MLA Rizvi was also removed immediately from the appointment as Member/Vice Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board as per order issued by General Administration Department here last evening.
Meanwhile the luck favoured the BJP candidate Vikram Randhawa and he was elected to Upper House by draw.