Rebels spurn PDP rejig as ‘old wine in new bottle’

Rebels spurn PDP rejig as ‘old wine in new bottle’
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Srinagar: The PDP’s rejig of its organisational hierarchy after an open revolt broke out nearly two months ago has made little impact on the dissenting legislators, who have accused party chief Mehbooba Mufti of incompetence and promoting nepotism.
On Sunday, the PDP removed Mufti family aides and relatives, including Mehbooba’s maternal uncle Sartaj Madni, from plum posts. Mehbooba’s younger brother Tassaduq Mufti, who was made tourism minister one year after he entered politics, was also not entrusted with any organisational responsibility.
The PDP’s rejig has come in the wake of open rebellion by five legislators and two Upper House members. However, the action has not yielded any outcome so far, as the dissenters have decried the move as a “sham” aimed at “misleading” them as well as the electorate.
“It won’t make any difference. We wanted those who hijacked the party to be suspended for at least six years,” said PDP MLA and rebel Abdul Majeed Padder. “It (rejig) is old wine in new bottle.”
The PDP has installed veteran politician and late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s confidante Abdul Rehman Veeri as vice-president, after the post fell vacant after the resignation of Madni on July 23. Apart from Veeri, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Abdul Haq Khan, Mehboob Iqbal, S Surinder Choudhary, and F Bhagat were appointed as general secretaries, while Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Asiea Naqash, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat, Raja Aijaz Ali, Bashir Ahmad Rounyal, Maroof Khan, Noor Muhammad Bhat, Amrik Singh Reen, Abdul Majeed, Samiullah, Shah Muhammad Tantray, Deepak Handa and Abdul Rashid Malik were made state secretaries. Altaf Bukhari was appointed as treasurer and Rafi Ahmad Mir as chief spokesman. In the party’s Political Affairs Committee, 14 members led by Mehbooba were established.
Entrusting almost all leaders with key positions, according to influential Shia leader Abid Ansari, who was the first to break ranks, is meant only to prevent the party’s spilt.
“It is a face-saving move to keep the party intact. The main culprits are still there and actually it is they who are running the party from behind the curtains. The newly appointed ones are just nominal heads,” Ansari told Kashmir Reader.
He accused Sartaj Madni, Naeem Akhtar and Peerzada Mansoor of running the party from behind the curtains. “The revamp is a gimmick,” he remarked.
According to Ansari, Mehbooba is an “incompetent” leader and only her father had the capability to run the party affairs. “Now it is a one-woman show. There is no democracy in the party,” he said.
On his part, PDP chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said that the revamp of the party was meant to connect with people.
“It is also meant to give chance to new people, so that we can reach to the grassroots as we are n0t in power anymore,” he told Kashmir Reader.
The dissenters, Mir said, had not been served any explanation notice so far, and “options have been kept open”.