All’s not well in PAGD!


Muzaffar Beigh quits; PC miffed

Er. Rashid likely to be released before elections

Suhail Khan

SRINAGAR, November 14: All is not well within Peoples’ Alliance For Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). Though there was a simmering discontentment among the allies but the rift started coming to fore, with the resignation of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig.

Reliable sources said that Safina Baig, wife of Muzaffar Hussain Beig, who is president of the women wing of PDP wanted to contest District Development Council (DDC) elections from Wagoora in district Baramulla, a seat reserved for women. However, the National Conference did not concede to the demand of PDP which prompted Muzaffar Hussain Baig to call it a day in PDP.

Sources said that the National Conference has already decided to give mandate to the daughter-in-law of one of its prominent workers from Sultanpora which is a part of territorial constituency Wagoora. The miffed Safina is said to have vehemently resented this move within her own party but the final call was taken by Beig who quit PDP citing “ethical reasons”.

Beig who tendered his resignation in PDP from its basic membership and as patron was annoyed over the seat sharing agreement with other constituents of PAGD. “NC is fighting on a majority of the seats. It is not in the interest of the PDP. I respect Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and I wish them luck. I am leaving PDP,” Beig was quoted as having said by news agency KNS.

Beig, according to the report, said that he was not consulted regarding the seat sharing agreement with PAGD constituents.

“Today evening, I called her (Mehbooba Mufti) and informed her about my resignation from the PDP as a patron and a member,” he said. He is likely to address a press conference on Sunday.

Despite repeated attempts, KD could not contact Muzaffar Beig or Safina Beig for their comments.

Sources said that the loyalists of Beig in PDP are also taking cue from their mentor and will be tendering their resignations within a few days. “There are a few leaders from Bandipora district and another from Kupwara who have made up their mind to leave PDP and they will be submitting their resignations to the party in a couple of days,” sources told Kashmir Despatch.

On the other hand, Congress has also cleared its stand that it is not a part of PAGD but is in touch with this alliance on some issues including seat sharing for DDC elections.

Talking to Kashmir Despatch, Ravinder Sharma, chief spokesman of the JK Pradesh Congress said: “We can’t support the anti national utterances of NC and PDP leaders. Congress is not a part of PAGD but we are in touch with this alliance only for some issues like restoration of Statehood, domicile laws on land and jobs and seat sharing for DDC elections.”

Sources told Kashmir Despatch that Peoples Conference is also not happy with the PAGD especially for seat sharing plans. “The PC had formulated a list of its candidates but its leadership was surprised to know that a list of contesting candidates was already framed in the meeting. This already framed list included the seats which are considered the strongholds of PC especially from Kupwara area,” sources told Kashmir Despatch, adding that the PC leadership has taken a strong exception to this development during the meeting between PAGD constituents that was held to discuss the seat sharing arrangement.

DDCs will form the third tier of governance in J&K with directly elected members to the councils. The elections to elect 280 council representatives — 14 in each district — will begin on November 28 alongside bypolls for over 13,000 vacant panchayat and urban local body positions.

Meanwhile, top sources revealed to Kashmir Despatch that the incarcerated Awami Itihad Party (AIP) president Er. Rashid is likely to be released before the DDC elections. Sources said that his release can cause severe dent in the constituencies considered to be political bastions of Peoples Conference and the National Conference in North Kashmir.


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