Srinagar, Aug 25: Peoples Democratic Party patron and former deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffar Hussain Beigh re-emerging on the scene nearly one year after the abrogation of Article 370 seems to have not gone well with his party leaders.
The PDP meeting which was called by Beigh in Srinagar on Monday was cancelled due to “party leaders questioning” Beigh’s role after scrapping of J&K’s special status.
A politician wishing not to be named said, “Muzaffar Beigh is a leading lawyer in Supreme Court and he is a legal luminary, he could have filed a petition in the Apex Court to seek the release of the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who has been in detention for the past more than a year. But he didn’t do that for the reasons best known to him,” the politician added.
After the meeting was called off the PDP leaders claimed that they were forced to do so as they didn’t get the permission from the authorities. “Someone needs to tell the PDP leaders that National Conference has held several meeting during the past one week. How come NC was permitted and PDP was prevented?” asked an analyst.
Referring to the statements of Muzaffar Beigh after the abrogation of Article 370, the analyst said, “Beigh was among the first Kashmiri politicians who asked the people to forget the J&K’s special status and move ahead. He had even said that Articles 370 and 35-A are dead and people should look beyond it.”
He said, “Many people were surprised when Beigh issued a statement supporting the Gupkar Declaration issued jointly by the political parties in Kashmir.”
The declaration which was issued after the joint meeting of the political parties at the residence of National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar demanded restoration of J&K’s special status.
An observer said, “PDP leaders who had objected to Beigh calling for a party meeting had valid reasons. The senior most leader of the party remained absent from the scene when the party needed him most.”
However, the observer was quick to add that “After 2015 when the PDP joined hands with BJP to form the government in J&K it sidelined Beigh and didn’t give him any frontal role. After the passing away of former J&K chief minister late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, he was appointed as the PDP patron, a move which many people believed, was aimed at pacifying him.”
The observer said, “The PDP leadership has not been so kind to Beigh in the past. This fact can neither be overlooked nor ignored. Everyone is aware of the fact that the PDP at present is on crossroads and it has to put up a Herculean effort to make a comeback.”