Srinagar: In a bid to discipline the ranks, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) removed its Member of Legislative Council Yasir Reshi from the post of Bandipora district president, days after he called for an alternative to the “two-family” system prevailing in Kashmir politics – the Sheikh family-led National Conference and the Mufti family-led PDP.
After the BJP pulled out from the coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir, six legislators of the PDP including Reshi openly criticised Mehbooba Mufti for promoting dynastic rule and despotic leadership. The party had till now stayed silent and had tried to iron out differences by inviting the rebel legislators to a meeting at Mehbooba’s residence. Most of them did not turn up.
On Thursday, the party finally cracked the whip. It announced that Yasir Reshi, who is an influential businessman, is being removed as the PDP’s Bandipora distrct president.
PDP chief spokesperson RafI Mir in a statement said that district president Baramulla, Irshad Rasool Kar, would look after the party affairs in Bandipora district for the time being.
Before Reshi, influential Shia leaders of the PDP, Abid Ansari and his nephew Imran Ansari, had also come out openly against Mehbooba’s “nepotism”.
The dissenting legislators have triggered speculation of a fresh government formation, as the Legislative Assembly has not been dissolved yet. The state is currently under Governor’s Rule with the BJP seemingly keen on first improving the security situation in the Valley under central rule.
Mehbooba, on her part, has warned the BJP against causing a split in her party. It would “erode the trust of Kashmiris in Indian democracy,” she has said.
In the 87-member Legislative Assembly, the PDP has 28 seats followed by the BJP with 25. The BJP enjoys the support of two Kashmiri legislators from the Sajjad Lone-led Peoples Conference and of one legislator from Ladakh. Sajjad Lone has emerged as a key player with rumours flying thick and fast of political realignments in the Valley.