Setback for PDP, BJP as Zanskar MLA leaves coalition

Ahead of the crucial Legislative Council elections, the PDP-BJP coalition received a setback today as the Independent MLA from the Zanskar Assembly constituency, Sayed Baqir Razvi, today refused to back the PDP-BJP candidates. Razvi’s decision has spoiled the PDP-BJP combine’s arithmetic because he was earlier a part of the coalition.
“The PDP-BJP coalition has betrayed us on a number of occasions so there is no logic to support the government’s candidates in the Legislative Council elections,” Razvi told Kashmir Post. However, he said the decision to support the opposition candidate would be taken only after consultations with his supporters. “It is too early to say that whether I will participate in the elections or not. Let the Opposition come forward with its proposal,” he said.
Lambasting the coalition for not fulfilling its promises, Razvi said, “I had voted for the coalition candidates during the 2015 Rajya Sabha elections as the PDP and the BJP had promised to give representation to Zanskar in the Council of Ministers but it is yet to be fulfilled,” he said.
The committee for development of the Zanskar Assembly constituency, headed by Razvi, had given an ultimatum to the coalition to induct him into the Cabinet to get support for the elections on or before April 11. After the expiry of the deadline, the Zanskar MLA announced to sever ties with the PDP-BJP coalition this evening.
As reported earlier three candidates are in the fray for two Legislative Council seats. They are Abdul Qayoom Dar of the PDP, Vikram Randhawa of the BJP and Thakur Balbir Singh of the Congress. The polling will be held on April 17.
As per the composition of the Assembly, the PDP candidate is likely to sail smoothly but the fight will be between Randhawa and Balbir Singh for the second seat.
The PDP-BJP coalition had 58 votes for the two seats but after Razvi’s announcement it has lost one vote. The NC-Congress alliance has 27 votes for a single candidate. Four MLAs, namely MY Tarigami of the CPM, Hakim Yaseen of the PDF, Engineer Rashid (Independent) and Pawan Gupta, former BJP member, hold the key in the election. Now, Razvi too has joined this group.