With unending quitting spree continuing in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) the challenges to the leadership of party president Mehbooba Mufti are rising with every passing day. Hardly a day goes without a dissident coming out in open and crying against the alienation with the party president. The cries of dissidents against the alienation with the party president speaks volumes about the intolerance against the rise of coterie politics in the party which had emerged an alternative to National Conference 2014 assembly elections when the party was reduced to all time low of 15 seats in the assembly of 87 members. Though the endorsement of the alliance with the BJP by Mehbooba Mufti after the demise of her father late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is in the opinion of eye watchers in Kashmir the main reason for the continuing quitting spree gripping chaos in the party but the promotion of coterie politics allowed by Mehbooba Mufti during her 22 month long reign of power is obviously the major reason for the intensifying dissidence.
Leaving the coterie politicians unpunished and allowing them to be part of party’s political affairs committee and the core group the highest decision making bodies of the party can finally throw up bigger challenges to the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti ahead of forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
In fact the nomination of her maternal uncle Sartaj Madni as party’s Vice President followed by the induction of her brother as cabinet minister in the previous PDP –BJP government after his nomination to the legislative council last year were the triggers of the present wave of dissidence which is obviously not heading to any dead end. Even after the nomination of Muzaffar Hussain Baig one of the main architects of the party as the party patron the tendencies of quitting the party have further intensified. Though Sartaj Madni has been already divested of the position of party vice president and Ab Rehman Veeri a die hard loyalist of Muftis’ has been offered the position but resentment is brewing up against the continuing patronage of Nayeem Akhter and Peerzada Mansoor Hussain by party president Mehbooba Mufti. Since both the critics and the dissidents blame Nayeem Akhter, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain and Sartaj Madni for bringing the party into a disintegration mode there is obviously no other alternative for Mehbooba Mufti except to clip the wings of all the three coterie politicians who have the disqualification of not being MLAs in the previous assembly. Divesting them (Madni, Nayeem and Mansoor) of the party positions does not mean that party president has clipped their wings as their party activities are irritating many such leaders who has played a crucial role in building the party under the leadership of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Leaving the coterie politicians unpunished and allowing them to be part of party’s political affairs committee and the core group the highest decision making bodies of the party can finally throw up bigger challenges to the leadership of Mehbooba Mufti ahead of forthcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections.