Srinagar: The Jammu face of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Vikramaditya Singh, on Sunday announced his resignation from the party and from the Legislative Council, saying the PDP had “disregarded the demands and aspirations of Jammu region”. Singh, the grandson of the last Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, had joined the PDP in August 2015 in presence of the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Posting his resignation letter, addressed to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook on Sunday, he wrote, “…in the last several months, the views that I have publically expressed about my concerns about my state in general and Jammu region in particular, have not been in harmony with the party line.”
He cited “the illegal settlement of Rohingyas in the state, the inclusion of period pertaining to Dogra rule and contributions made by the rulers in the state textbooks, and the demand for public holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari singh,” as the reasons for his resignation from the party.
In January this year, the Legislative Council adopted a resolution urging the government to declare a holiday on September 23 to honour the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh. The private member resolution was moved by BJP MLC Ajatshatru Singh, who is brother of Vikramaditya.
Political parties in Kashmir said that given the struggle against the Maharaja, such a move would be inappropriate. Jammu and Kashmir state officially observes July 13 as the Martyrs’ Day to remember the 21 Kashmiris killed by the Maharaja’s forces on that day.
“It is clear that the PDP has rejected these issues, which strongly reflect the sentiments of the people of Jammu region,” Vikramaditya Singh wrote, adding, “It is no longer possible for me to be part of a party that continues to disregard the demands and aspirations of the Jammu region.”
He further wrote that the PDP had failed in “bridging the growing divide between three regions of the state,” which was the “vision” of Mufti Sayeed.
“I have sent my resignation to party president Mehbooba Mufti with a request to accept it immediately. I feel that it is neither morally nor ethically right for me to continue as a member of the PDP,” Singh told reporters in Jammu after posting his resignation letter.
The government’s spokesperson and education minister Naeem Akhter told Kashmir Reader that Singh had “cited his reasons very clearly.”
“We have ideological differences and his resignation is very natural,” Akhtar said.
“Earlier, when a resolution was passed in Legislative Council, I opposed it at that time as well. His resignation will be accepted,” Akhtar said.
Former chief minister and leader of opposition Omar Abdullah reacted to the news of resignation by wishing Singh luck for the future.
“If this is true, all the very best for the future,” Omar wrote on Twitter.