Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party is set to face another jolt as the party co-founder Muzaffar Hussain Baig has made it clear he will leave the party if the third front emerges in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Member of Parliament who was addressing a presser in Srinagar said if the third front emerges which is also what the Peoples Conference-led by Sajad Lone is aiming at, he will join it.
“Sajad Lone is like my son. I had contested the elections that led to registration of Peoples Conference as a political party. If Sajad (Lone) is interested in (formation of third front), it should be encouraged. People want something different from the beaten track,” Baig said.
He said joining the the Peoples Conference will be his homecoming.
Asked if he would join an alternative front to the National Conference and PDP, Beigh said “I will seriously consider joining the third front if it emerges”. He said he has not been contacted by the BJP or Lone so far.
Asked if he would quit PDP, Baig said he would await a response from the party leadership before taking the step.
“I have not made up my mind. I will have to think about it. It is very difficult to resign from a party which I have formed.
“Sajad has not contacted me directly. The BJP has not contacted me (on government formation or third front formation). However, there are people within the party (PDP) who want an elected government,” he added
Baig described the election boycott of National Conference and PDP on the government of India’s noncommittal to defend Article 35A “flawed” saying, “the issue is not to be decided by politicians or government of India”.
“It is to be decided by highest court which is not afraid of taking bold decisions. The logic is flawed and if the case (Article 35A) takes years, will NC and PDP boycott the assembly and parliament elections till that time?” he questioned.
He pointed out that despite the election boycott by NC and PDP “people voted in certain areas”.
“I know the reason why NC called for the boycott. It was a defensive step that they took because of the comments of senior leader in Delhi To overcome the resentment, they called for boycott of elections,” Baid said and added, “Why PDP followed the decision, I don’t understand. They unwittingly fell into the trap”.
Beigh, the Lok Sabha member from Baramulla , said he was not consulted when the party took the decision to boycott the local bodies polls.
“I was in Delhi, just a phone call away. I remained quiet because I did not want the PDP to fall asunder,” he said.
Reacting to speculations that PDP and arch rival National Conference might join hands to form a government in the state to foil BJP’s attempts at government formation, Beigh said the PDP was formed to end the family rule and bring in democracy.
“Now this talk of NC-PDP alliance. How will people of Jammu react? How will people of Ladakh react? It will be an alliance of one religion,” he said.
“Jammu would not like it, Ladakh will not remain part of the state. This will lead to trifurcation of the state,” he warned.
Responding to the possibility of either NC or PDP getting absolute majority in future assembly elections, he said “It will be foolish of me to think that NC or PDP will ever get a majority. There was a wave in 2014 (assembly elections) and we (PDP) still could not get 30 seats.”
On the PDP-BJP alliance, he said it did not live up to the expecation of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
“The alliance, if it had been implemented properly, was a chance to tell the Muslims of India that they were safe. We failed to form a real alliance with the BJP, we remained aloof. The ministers were not intermingling,” he said.
Beigh blamed the PDP for failing to deliver on the development front during its alliance with the BJP in the state government.
“There was development deficiency during those two-and -half-years. Funds were not utilised or were not released. No proposals were sent to the Centre (for development works) because the Centre does not release any funds without proposals,” he said.
Beigh said small mistakes in the past led to massive damage to Jammu and Kashmir as was witnessed post 1987 elections.
“What would have happened in 1987 (If Muslim United Front would have formed the government)? Yasin Malik (JKLF supremo) said in an interview after those elections that he would go to Pakistan and bring arms. That is what happened. At least we would not have seen terror,” he added.
Beigh said the mistakes of politicians in the past were responsible for militancy in the state and the killings which are taking place, irrespective which side they belong to.