Srinagar, Aug 24: The Peoples Democratic Party’s meeting, slated for Monday, was cancelled owing to differences over the role of its patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig after August 5 last year, when all mainstream leaders, including three former Chief Ministers—Mehbooba Mufti (PDP president), Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah– were arrested.
However, some leaders claimed that the meeting called by former Deputy Chief Minister and one of the founder members of PDP, Baig has been postponed as no permission was received from the administration which was necessary due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Party sources told UNI on Monday that majority leaders were of the opinion that until party president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, detained since March 5, 2019, is not released there should be no political activity.
They said after the National Conference (NC) started political activities by organizing meeting of party leaders, senior PDP leader Nizamuddin Bhat had called meeting of party leaders at his residence on Sunday. The meeting of Bhat was cancelled after Baig called meeting on Monday at his residence.
However, sources said, some of the party leaders out rightly rejected the invitation questioning the role of Baig after August 5, 2019 when the Centre abrogated Article 370 besides downgrading the state and dividing it into two Union Territories (UT).
They alleged that Baig, who is also a Supreme Court lawyer, did nothing to raise his voice against the arrest of Mehbooba Mufti, presently detained under Public Safety Act (PSA) and other party leaders.
Sources said some of the leaders were critical of the statement of Baig at a press conference in Jammu on January 9 this year when he had said that Mehbooba’s provocative statement over Article 370 has resulted in downgrading J&K from a state into Union Territory (UT).
Baig had quoted a statement of Mehbooba in 2017 in which she had warned that no one in Kashmir would hold the Tricolour if Article 370 was tampered with, a provocative statement which should have never been made.
Baig had told the press conference at a time when Mehbooba was in jail that it was a provocative statement which was made by her in his absence. ‘I, on record, have said that the statement like that resulted in downgrading J&K from state into Union Territory. That did not help us and that should not have been made,” Baig had said in his first media conference in Jammu since August 5 last year.