By: Owais Gul
Srinagar: Out of 28 MLAs elected on ticket of Peoples Democratic Party in 2014 Assembly elections in the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir, 18 have left the party in the past two and-a-half years after fall of the then PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti.
In 2014 elections, PDP had emerged as single largest party by winning 28 seats.
But till date, 18 of them have either deserted the party or were expelled from it.
The Apni Party has been major beneficiary of “decimation” of PDP as 10 MLAs elected on the party ticket in 2014 are now its part.
Altaf Bukhari, who heads the Apni Party, was himself MLA of Peoples Democratic Party from Amira Kadal and was minister in governments led by late Mufti Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti.
The PDP MLAs who joined Apni Party include Raja Manzoor ( Karnah), Noor Muhammad Sheikh( Batamaloo), Yawar Ahmad Mir( Rafiabad), Javaid Hussain Baigh( Baramulla), Muhammad Ashraf Mir ( Sonawar), Abdul Majid Paddar (Noorabad), Abdul Rahim Rather (Kokernag), Choudhary Zulfikar Ali (Darhal) and Choudhary Qamar Hussain (Rajouri).
Five of them were expelled from the party after they met foreign envoys and Lt Governor Girish Chandra Murmu in January 2020.
Three former PDP legislators — Imran Reza Ansari( Pattan), Abid Ansari (Zadibal) and Muhammad Abbas (Tangmarg) joined Peoples Conference.
Two of them — Khalil Bandh (Pulwama) and Syed Basharat Bukhari (Sangrama) — joined National Conference. However, Bukhari recently quit NC and joined PC.
Javaid Mustafa Mir, who won 2014 elections from Chadoora constituency, joined Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM), which was formed by 2010 IAS topper Shah Faesal, who later resigned from politics.
Shah Mohammad Tantray, who had won Poonch Haveli seat in 2014 elections, has not joined any party yet after resigning from PDP.
The economist and former MLA Haseeb Drabu resigned from the party in December 2018 but did not return to politics. He was recently appointed as independent director by aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul services provider Air Works. (KNO)