Srinagar: Member of Parliament and senior PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra Monday called his senior party colleagues, Naeem Akhtar, Haseeb Drabu and Altaf Bukhari, as “present day Kukka Parrays” who made a bid to engineer a split in the party.
Karra said the trio, whom he dubbed “hate icons”, had “ditched Mehbooba” and tried to forge an alliance with the BJP at a time when she had been demanding CBMs and other assurances. In an interview with Kashmir Reader, Karra said the trio had been planning to “make a sellout of Kashmir”.
Why did you boycott Mehbooba’s swearing-in ceremony?
Mehbooba gave me an impression that non-performers would have no place in her cabinet. Naeem Akhtar, Haseeb Drabu and Altaf Bukhari will not be ministers in the Mehbooba-led government. The trio the Mehbooba-led government. The trio was responsible for Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s failure. They are collaborators and attempted to cause a split and sideline Mehbooba. I told Mehbooba to send out a strong signal by giving them no room in the new government.
Altaf is responsible for engineering a spilt. He has a very flawed understanding of his worth. Naeem and Drabu played their dirty roles. In today’s scenario, all of them are hate icons. So I want some course correction and Mehbooba sought options. I told her to drop the trio, and if she still felt other people in the party are dumb, she can make Naeem as chairman of the Legislative Council. The post has been denigrated by appointing class 8 pass man as the chairman.
I told her to either drop Drabu or change his portfolio because he was creating chaos and confusion between the PDP and BJP. He is trying to become indispensable.
On April 1, she promised me that she would discuss the matter further on April 3 in Jammu. Mehbooba told me if I am not convinced then don’t attend my swearing-in ceremony. I was forcibly brought from Chandigarh yesterday but was astonished to hear say that she will not drop any of them. And she will only change Bukhari’s portfolio.
Who will replace the trio?
It could be Muzaffar Hussain Baig or Tariq Hameed Karra or Abdul Rehman Veeri. The only thing that can change the public mood is good governance. Drabu has no idea about the government. He is a dream merchant and is selling dreams to the party and the rest of the world. I differed with Mehbooba and told her that you want to keep these snakes they will bite you one day.
But you opposed the PDP’s alliance with BJP from day one and all of a sudden you supported it?
Yes, I have been opposing the alliance. But an example can suffice your question. In 1996, if Farooq Abdullah had not contested election, Kukka Parray would have been the CM. Similarly, I saved state and the party from modern day Kukka Parrays who would have formed the government without Mehbooba.
Why are you opposing them?
They have no stakes. Bukhari is a businessman. Naeem has neither contested elections nor voted. His MLA lost in his village because he acted against him. The PDP lost wherever Naeem was in-charge of the constituencies. Similarly, Drabu has no stakes. Had it not been Mehbooba and Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, he would not have won.
How do you see Mehbooba as chief minister?
Mehbooba is inexperienced. That’s one of the reason she wanted holy cows around.
What will be your role in the party? Will you take any assignment in the party?
I will be like a watchdog. I think there is trust deficit. Mehbooba and people around her have to clear their hearts and minds. I don’t want to be a rubber stamp.
What prompted you to intervene in the government formation and did you inform Mehbooba that her own party men were planning a split?
Had I not done it, Altaf Bukhari would have traded assets and natural resources of Kashmir. I am saying it with authority and responsibly. I was also approached by them. I conveyed it to Mehbooba and asked her to take a call on the government.