J&K-PDP’s separatist friendly agenda annoys Hindu leaders of party

via Nishikant Khajuria published on March 7, 2007

Jammu:The separatist friendly agenda of the People’s Democratic Party, which is one of the major ruling coalition partners in Jammu and Kashmir, has annoyed Hindu workers of the party in Jammu region.


Even as a majority of Jammu based leaders of the party are still hesitating to come forward openly against the demands such as demilitarization of Kashmir and withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a top PDP functionary quit the party on Monday, accusing the party leadership of working against the interests of the nation.


Party general secretary Romesh Mottan declared that he was feeling suffocated by the anti-national policies of the PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and party president Mehbooba Mufti, particularly after they raised their pitch on de-militarisation of the state and withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).


Even as political observers claim that main reason behind Mottan quitting PDP was denial of party mandate to him for the Legislative Council election, at the same time, they admit that the party policies and its stand on various issues have made it very difficult for the leaders of Jammu to respond to queries of the people regarding the behaviour of the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and patron Mufti Mohd Sayeed.


Mr Mottan had joined PDP in 2003 and was appointed general secretary of the party. He was among a few Jammu based leaders in PDP who have footing among general masses.


It is pertinent to mention here that after 2002 Assembly elections, several Jammu based politicians had joined PDP with the hope that the party would dilute its separatists friendly agenda in the State after coming to power. The party also preferred to maintain silence on controversial issues till Mufti Sayeed was Chief Minister. However, ever since change of guard in the State, the party leadership has once again started raising issues like human rights violations, demilitarisation of Kashmir, withdrawal of AFSPA, self rule, etc.


PDP leadership feels that such issues touch the skin of every Kashmiri in Valley where the party had won 15 Assembly seats in last elections. However, on the other hand, party’s stand on these issues has upset its Jammu based leaders, particularly Hindus who have started feeling that they have no space in the Kashmir centric PDP.


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