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Blow to PDP: ‘Hurtful’ Baig lends support to ‘son’ Sajad.

In a major blow to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its senior leader and Member of Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Baig Tuesday announced that he would join Sajad Gani Lone-led ‘third front’ if Lone shows interest.
“Peoples Conference is like home to me and Sajad is like my son,” Baig said addressing a news conference here.
The Member of Parliament (MP) from north Kashmir’s said the ‘third front’ should be encouraged “to put PDP on notice for side-lining” him.
He said there were leaders within the PDP who want to form the government in the State.
“They (PDP leaders) have contacted me but Sajad and BJP haven’t yet directly talked to me,” Baig said.
He said there was a possibility for a new government in the State.
“People yearn for change and want a political government,” the MP said.
He said like PDP’s constitution, he had also drafted Peoples Conference’s constitution.
Baig said resigning from PDP would be a difficult decision for him to take but after seeing the reaction of the party after his press conference, he would take a call on his future.
“I am hurt and disillusioned,” he said. “They got me and Tariq Karra out of State politics by making us contest Parliament polls.”
The MP said to keep him out, PDP did not let him conduct the meeting of the Coordination Committee of the previous PDP-BJP alliance of which he was the Chairman.
He said he wanted to speak since long but had waited till PDP went “overboard to lamely” announce the boycott without even consulting him.
“I was just a phone call away but they didn’t contact me,” Baig said.He said he kept quiet throughout the tenure of Mehbooba Mufti-led government as he did not want the party to fall asunder.
“PDP is in a peril, they fell in a trap after National Conference announced boycott of the local bodies polls,” the MP said.
He said he did not want to create fissures within the party but then the very purpose and mission for which, he, along with Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, had founded the party was in a crisis now.
“PDP was formed to find the middle ground in J&K politics. It was formed against the dynastic rule of the Abdullah family but now it has become like NC,” Baig said. “PDP President Mehbooba Mufti takes my advice but never implements it.”
He said the report of the committee, which amended the PDP constitution after the PDP President’s directions was never implemented for reasons best known to the PDP leadership.
The MP said PDP failed its MLAs and workers while being in power in the State.
“I told Mufti (Sayeed) sahab that BJP-PDP alliance will only work if the minds meet but then the ministers of the two parties in the same government never met each other,” Baig said. “The PDP-BJP government failed on deliverance on the developmental front.”
“Government of India did not release money because the State government didn’t submit any projects,” he said.
The MP said Mufti had thought that BJP-PDP government would act as a model for the rest of India, particularly Muslims that they could be safe under a BJP government but stressed that the PDP could not fulfil Mufti’s vision.
“My heart goes out to the educated unemployed youth of our State,” Baig said. “PDP couldn’t give them jobs.”
Hitting out at NC, he said militancy in the State was an outcome of the “policies and double speak” of NC for the past 70 years.
“They formed an alliance in 1987 only to get the family of Muhammad Yousuf Shah and his polling agent picked up by the Police even though he had won,” the MP said. “Yasin Malik, who was Shah’s polling agent then, vowed to pick up the gun against the Union of India.”
He said NC leaders do not have enough courage to speak the truth.
“They have been playing both sides since 1947,” Baig said asserting Kashmiri people deserve plain speak.
“When in power, New Delhi is good for NC and bad out of it,” the MP said. “NC plunged the State into militancy for cheap electoral benefits.”
He said the situation in the State would not have been normal but militancy would not have erupted.
Baig said the young generation of Kashmir was being killed because of the militancy along with the killing of government forces personnel stationed in the State.
“I am sorry to say these harsh words but our politicians from the past are responsible for the present killings,” he said.
The MP said those propagating the idea of a PDP-NC unified government were trying to trifurcate the State.“Imagine a government of PDP and NC on the mandate from the Valley. How will Jammu and Ladakh react?” he said. “It is a horrendous idea.”
Baig said Mufti stood for integration of the State with India rather than its trifurcation.
On the boycott of local body polls by NC and PDP, he said both the regional parties had not learnt from NC founder, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
“He (Sheikh) also boycotted polls. The Plebiscite Front also boycotted polls. But then what happened, they came back to fight elections,” the MP said. “Sheikh realised that his boycott will only promote doctored elections from New Delhi.”
He said NC had boycotted local bodies polls as their leader had announced it somewhere in New Delhi without consulting party workers.
“But I don’t understand why PDP followed them,” Baig said. “Will NC and PDP boycott assembly and parliament polls if the Supreme Court doesn’t decide the case of Article 35-A for 5 years.”
He said PDP should have realised that a political party had no existence if it does not mobilize people at the grassroots level adding that local bodies polls were for local mobilization and development at the ground level.
The MP said even after the boycott by NC and PDP in the ULB and Panchayat polls, people had voted as local elections were the basis of democracy.
“Political space has no vacuum because if you leave a space it would be filled by someone,” he said.
Baig said NC’s decision of boycotting polls for protection of Article 35-A in the Supreme Court was flawed because the case would not be decided by the court by considering these tactics.
“NC’s real reason for the boycott was something else,” he said. “SC took a stern decision against public will in case of a temple recently. They won’t hesitate to take a stern decision in this case also. Boycott won’t change that.”
The MP said the State was at a very crucial point in history as there were young people who were propagating for the establishment of a Khilafat in the State to be ruled by some leader in an Arab country.
“Even Hurriyat had never talked of this Khilafat movement here,” Baig said. “I feel the issue of young generation of the State as I myself went gone to jail five times during the yesteryears.”
He said the government booked him under the Public Safety Act as he did not welcome Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq, the then chief minister who had assumed power through the backdoor.
The MP said India and Pakistan were bound to resolve Kashmir issue through the Shimla agreement, which PDP has been enforcing through its founding resolution.
“Pakistan itself is a victim of terror. The militants there don’t let the government to talk to India,” Baig said. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi went out of his way to go to Pakistan. Then what happened. They attacked Pathankot. The Pakistan government has no courage over the militants.”
He said crossing through the Line of Control by militants does not amount to waging war but crossing the International Border as in case of Pathankot amounts to waging war.
Baig’s comments come in the wake of a rebellion in PDP since Governor’s rule was imposed in the State in June.
PDP’s rebel leaders have been openly castigating the party leadership for promoting “family rule”.
Baig’s brother and PDP MLA from Baramulla, Javaid Baig, earlier rebelled against the party only to be back in the party.
PDP’s rebel leaders including Imran Raza Ansari, Abid Ansari, Abbas Wani, Mohammad Shafi Bhat and Yasir Reshi are yet to join back with the Ansaris and Yasir Reshi openly siding with Peoples Conference in the recent Urban Local Bodies pollS.

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