Srinagar: PDP Patron and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig resigned from the party on Saturday following a disagreement over seat sharing for the forthcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir, party sources said. Baig, according to sources, took the extreme step after he was denied mandate by Peoples’ Alliance For Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) for his wife Safina Baig for a DDC seat reserved for woman in the Sangrama assembly constituency.
The sources said Baig informed PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti about his decision of leaving the party with which he has been associated since its inception in 1998. Sources also said that Baig was seeking mandate for his wife Safina Baig from a DDC seat of Sangrama constituency of Baramulla district but Peoples’ Alliance For Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) had overturned the demand for mandate to Safina Baig. However Baig was not immediately available for comment.
The party sources said he was upset over seat distribution, especially in north Kashmir, by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an hurriedly cobbled amalgam of mainstream political parties, including the National Conference, the PDP, the People’s Conference and the CPI(M).
The Congress has also extended support to the PAGD and expressed willingness in seat sharing for the DDC polls, which will begin from November 28. In the first major electoral exercise in Jammu & Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, the Jammu and Kashmir poll panel has announced an eight-phase election to 20 DDCs.
The PAGD announced on Thursday the seat-sharing list for the first phase of the polls. The NC is contesting on the majority of the 27 seats in the Kashmir Valley, with the party putting up its candidates on 21 seats. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), led by Ms. Mufti, is contesting on four seats, while the Sajad Lone-led People’s Conference (PC) bagged two seats for the first phase.