At poll meeting, Ansari objects to Akhtar’s presence

At poll meeting, Ansari objects to Akhtar’s presence

Shia leader walks out, says Naeem is ‘nobody’

Srinagar: At a time when every pro-India political party finds it difficult to campaign for parliamentary by-poll, infighting within PDP surfaced at the party’s important election meeting on Thursday.
PDP legislator and Shia leader Abid Ansari walked out of a ‘poll review’ meeting at the party headquarters to protest against the presence of PWD minister Naeem Akhtar.
It was learnt many PDP leaders including Abid’s nephew Imran Raza Ansari, who has been assigned the charge of Srinagar parliamentary constituency, tried to intervene but to no avail.
Abid told Kashmir Reader that he objected to Naeem’s presence as “he has no role or stakes in Srinagar constituency”.
“I can’t sit and share stage with a person who is nobody but enjoys ministry. He is responsible for infighting in the party and his undue interference is creating problems. My slogan is ‘Party bachao, Naeem ko hataw’” he said.
The Shia leader, who is also brother of late Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, said, “Naeem is the culprit who is destroying the party”.
“Naeem is a double-faced person who says one thing in front of you and talks something else behind you. The party leadership would have been informed about my protest and they can redress the issue,” Abid said, adding he supports and would ensure party’s win from Srinagar.
In the election review meeting, legislators from Srinagar and several party leaders had assembled to discuss the strategy for the polls scheduled on April 9.
Imran, who is in-charge of Srinagar parliamentary seat, said there was no infighting in the party.
“Somebody has a problem with an individual. Such things are the essence of democracy. We are contesting the elections together,” he said.
Naeem was not available for his comment. A legislator who was part of the meeting said such issues bring “bad name” to the party especially ahead of the polls.
Despite the meeting starting on a sour note, the leaders made their suggestions.
After last month’s cabinet reshuffle, when Akhtar was given a high-profile portfolio, resentment is brewing among the leaders and a few openly expressed their displeasure.
A top PDP leader pleading anonymity said the party has assigned power to new entrants, and they have no stakes.
“Without any solid credentials, leaders have been given portfolios. It has emboldened their egos. I have conveyed to the party we have not been able to deliver good governance or development partly because of such issues,” he said.

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