SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday suffered another loss after its senior leader, and one of its key men in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, Nizamudin Bhat joined the Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference (PC).
Bhat joined the party along with another leader in presence of Sajad Lone and other senior leaders of PC at the residence of Imran Raza Ansari.
“This is where I belong,” Bhat said at a press conference held at Ansari’s residence. He said he had started his career with the PC under the leadership of late Abdul Gani Lone, but later left to briefly work as a journalist.
“I know every single associate of PC, their place of residence, and everything else. I have worked as a party worker to build the party brick by brick. Today I have returned to my roots,” Bhat said.
Bhat is another senior leader in north Kashmir to have quit the PDP after Muzaffar Beg, who quit along with his wife Safina Beg. Bhat has twice been a legislator on the PDP ticket and held senior party positions. PDP now has Naeem Akhtar as the only senior leader left in north Kashmir. His political activities are in passive mode ever since he was arrested in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
Talking to reporters, Sajad Lone said that it was a remarkable moment for him and the party cadres to have Nizam back in the party and that he will “complement the party efforts in scripting an agenda for change and help navigate J&K out of the web of disempowerment in a dignified manner”.
“There is a certain level of emotion in welcoming Nizamuddin sahib back to the party fold. Nizam sahib was one of the founding members of the JKPC and the party remembers him as an idealistic young man driven by a desire for change,” Lone said. “His service will be used as an intellectual and veteran politician.”
“The people of J&K have been trapped post August 5, 2019. And the current administration, which we may remind them is a selected administration and not an elected administration, is indulging in economic persecution of the people of J&K, as a sequel to political persecution. The JKPC owes it to the people of J&K that it stands up for them in our united quest to retrieve back what is rightfully ours. We at the JKPC reiterate that economic empowerment is essential for political empowerment,” he added.