PDP after Mufti

  • Javaid Malik
  • Publish Date: Mar 11 2016 12:54PM
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  • Updated Date: Mar 11 2016 12:54PM
PDP after Mufti

Death of the former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) founder Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has created a void and uncertainty within the PDP. The PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti, and other close aides of late Chief Minister are trying to reconcile with the situation and accept that their mentor and leader is no more.
Soon after Mufti’s demise the senior PDP leader and Member Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Beigh came forward and took the charge. Despite being unhappy with the party leadership Beigh buried all the differences and led from the front to keep everyone together in grief. He even went to Governor’s House and presented the letter of support to Governor acknowledging Mehbooba Mufti as the leader of the PDP and as the next Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Another disgruntled PDP leader, Tariq Hameed Kara, who from the day one has been opposing PDP’s alliance with BJP, remained with Muftis in their hour of grief and sorrow. The death of the late Chief Minister brought all the PDP leaders together.     
As the mourning period is over PDP is looking to the future minus their leader late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. It remains to be seen what fate has got in store for the senior PDP leaders Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Tariq Hameed Kara, founder members of the party. 
There are speculations that both Beigh and Kara would be given bigger roles. As far as Muzzafar Hussain Beigh is concerned he has made it clear that he has no problems with PDP carrying on its alliance with the BJP but another senior leader Tariq Hameed Kara is firm on his stand that PDP should say goodbye to its alliance partner BJP.
There is no doubt that PDP is caught amid uncertainties and all the leaders and the former ministers are in a dilemma. No one knows who will get which role. There are many questions which would be answered with the passage of time.
Kara and Beigh, who have worked along with Mehbooba, to build the PDP do acknowledge Mehbooba as late Mufti’s heir but would they accept Tasaduq Mufti, cinematographer son of the late Chief Minister remains to be seen.   
The developments which have taken place after the death of late Mufti indicate that Mehbooba wants to give bigger roles in the party to the people within the family. If Mehbooba is able to stitch an alliance with the BJP and she takes over as the 13th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir then she would have to handover the post of PDP president to someone. There is every possibility of someone within the family being nominated as PDP President.
Now what remains to be seen is, would the PDP old guards especially Kara and Beigh allow Mehbooba to turn the party into a family affair or would they stand up and demand their due share as they have played a vital role in building the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.
Both the leaders are maintaining silence at present and are waiting for Mehbooba to make the first move. Beigh and Kara have been the assets for the PDP and Mehbooba at this point time would definitely like them to stand by her, but if she wants them by her side she would have to ensure that both are given important roles and are accepted back into the party fold.
Kara and Beigh may not find a place in the cabinet as both of them are Lok Sabha members. If they are ignored there is every possibility about them reacting strongly. If PDP continues its alliance with BJP, power would bind the party. Kara and Beigh may not prove that effective if PDP opts for power. If midterm polls are held it can tilt the balance in favour of Beigh and Kara but there is every possibility about both the leaders supporting Mehbooba in case she turns down the top post and says goodbye to BJP.
 Today, the situation for PDP is tricky. For the party, it has become a question of survival. PDP is a Kashmir centric party. It has to consider the implications over its larger constituency and its base in Kashmir. At this point of time any rebellion in the party ranks would mean a split. Until now Mehbooba has handled the situation in a mature manner. Despite BJP trying hard she didn’t run after the Chief Minister’s chair. Nor did she take any decision in haste. Everyone expects that she would hold the PDP together and won’t allow any division or split. Besides accommodating the family members she would have to accommodate the senior leaders to ensure that her late father’s mission is carried forward and the promises which the party has made to people are fulfilled.
  (Javaid Malik is Senior Editor Greater Kashmir)