PDP rebels go all out against Mehbooba, says they are against Mehbooba not party

For the first time, the rebel group of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) jointly came out in public on Friday to counter the statement of party president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who earlier in the day cautioned New Delhi that engineering a split in her party would prove dangerous.
The rebel legislators said they were not acting at the behest of New Delhi to split the PDP or form a government with the BJP.
“It is a serious allegation. We are elected people and if you brand us like this then you are undermining the institution of MLAs. Your problem is that a group is emerging within Kashmir which is challenging your family rule,” said Javaid Hussain Baig, an MLA from north Kashmir’s Baramulla.
Baig is the nephew of PDP MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig and was accompanying two other MLAs — Imran Raza Ansari and Abdul Majeed Paddar — and an equal number of MLCs — Yasir Rishi and Saifuddin Bhat — in the press conference.
“We have adopted a democratic process to strengthen the PDP. We are the real PDP but we have stood up against two families (Muftis and Abdullahs),” said Imran Raza Ansari, an influential Shia leader, who is leading the rebel PDP group.
Earlier in the day, Mehbooba had warned former ally BJP that any interference or attempts “by New Delhi” to break her party would have dangerous consequences.
“If Delhi tries to create divisions in the PDP and interfere…I am afraid like in 1987 just like a Salahuddin and a Yasin Malik were born, let there be no doubt that the outcome will be exceedingly dangerous,” said Mehbooba, who resigned as CM after the BJP pulled out from the coalition government with the PDP.
Mehbooba was hinting at the alleged election rigging in 1987 when the United Muslim Front candidates, including present Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin, took part in the Assembly elections.
The rebel leaders believe that branding the process of PDP’s split and government formation with the BJP as Delhi’s plan will put their lives at risk in Kashmir, where militancy has been on the rise.
Earlier in the day, Ansari took to Twitter to write: “I am one of the dissenters. Are you Mehbooba Mufti telling me that Delhi convinced me to rebel against you, wake up from your slumber, you humiliated me for three years.”
In another tweet, he wrote: “Are you telling me Mehbooba Mufti that people will take to guns because you and your cronies have been driven out of power. It is an end to cronyism. People are celebrating, wake up.”
Ansari went on to say: “Don’t tell me Mehbooba Mufti that you are a novice and don’t know that painting rebellion as a Delhi exercise puts rebels’ lives at risk. Stop being a white collar killer.
“What ’90s are you talking of, Mehbooba Mufti. You have already surpassed ’90s in your tenure. Stop issuing threats and stop blackmailing. There is no appetite for all this song and dance.
“I don’t think Delhi is doing it. But I think Russia is meddling in it. Remember, they meddled in American elections too.”