Removed from Cabinet, ex-PDP minister getting cozy with NC

Pardeep Singh Bali


In an apparent show of dissent, an ‘unhappy’ ex minister of the Jammu and Kashmir government may soon switch his loyalties to National Conference (NC) by ‘dumping’ ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

The intentions of the ex-minister in question could be gauged from the fact that in the ongoing budget session of the state assembly, the ex-minister has been seen moving more to opposition benches, especially with the working president of National Conference and former chief minister-Omar Abdullah.

According to sources privy to the development, the ex-minister from Peoples’ Democratic Party is unhappy with the reshuffle in the council of ministers after the death of PDP patron and former chief minister-late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

“The ex minister was not happy with the reshuffle in the Mehbooba Mufti’s council, wherein his name was dropped despite performing actively,” sources said and added “The minister had already raised his grievances with the party head, but remained unheard.”

“He has made up his mind to change the party affiliations,” sources said, “As the respect he had endured during the reign of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed apparently vanished after Mehbooba Mufti coming to power.” In the lower house of the state legislature, the ex-minister has been seen enjoying more time with former chief minister-Omar Abdullah.

“He has been caught on camera more than once sharing light moments with Omar Abdullah, even during question hour,” said sources, adding “Besides, working president of the National Conference, the ex minister has also been seen with then advisor of former chief minister-Mubarak Gul and NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar.”

Last time he spent more than half an hour with the NC leaders in the house, when the question hour was in progress, said sources, adding “even the presence of chief minister and PDP head Mehbooba Mufti could not deter his closeness with NC leaders.” Sources said that ex-minister is of the view that when it comes to self-esteem, sitting in opposition is more comfortable than sitting in government.

Meanwhile, leaders of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) expressed ignorance over the activities of the ex-minister. “We did not watch the ex minister with so concern. There is actually no scope of dissent among party leaders, including ex minister, but anything is possible,” said PDP leader wishing anonymity.

He, however, said that many things have changed since the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, especially whimsical monopoly of some leaders. “Madam ji is not flexible towards leaders who tend to express dissent over irrelevant issues,” he added. It is pertinent to mention here that three ministers from the previous cabinet had been dropped by Mehbooba Mufti, which included two leaders of PDP and one of BJP. The leaders who were dropped included Altaf Bukhari (former R&B minister), Javed Mustafa Mir (former revenue minister) and Choudhary Sukhnandan (former PHE minister).

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