Another blow to PDP, two leaders to join NC today

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has received another setback as two of its senior leaders Syed Basharat Bukhari and Peer Mohammad Hussain are set to join the National Conference tomorrow, just days after four party legislators quit the party.

Both leaders will join the NC in presence of party president Farooq Abdullah and working president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday morning, senior NC leader Muhammad Akbar Lone told Kashmir Post. “Hussain and Bukhari will join the NC at the Gupkar residence of Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday. We have been advised to be present there at 10 am,” Lone said.

Earlier in the day amid reports of the duo joining the NC, the PDP expelled both Hussain and Bukhari from the party for “anti-party activities”. “The PDP has expelled Bukhari and Hussain from the basic membership of the party on charges of anti-party activities,” said PDP vice-president Abdul Rehman Veeri.
The two-time MLA from north Kashmir’s Sangrama Assembly constituency, Bukhari was a Cabinet minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government. Bukhari (56), a former broadcaster, joined the PDP in 2003 and was elected to the Legislative Council during the late Mufti Sayeed-led PDP-Congress coalition government. He got elected from Sangrama in Baramulla district in 2008 and 2014.

Hussain was among the founding members of the PDP and was once considered Mufti’s confidant. He was also a minister in the PDP-Congress coalition between 2003 and 2008. He gave up the constituency to make way for his son-in-law Peerzada Manzoor Hussain in the 2008 elections. Hussain was appointed vice-chairman of the Waqf Board in 2015 but was forced to resign by the party last year.

Meanwhile, the PDP has also removed Mehboob Iqbal from the key position of general secretary. Four PDP legislators Imran Reza Ansari, his uncle Abid Ansari, banker-turned-politician Haseeb Drabu and Muhammad Abbas have already quit the party for various reasons in the past few weeks.

  • The two-time MLA from north Kashmir’s Sangrama Assembly constituency, Basharat Bukhari was a Cabinet minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government
  • Peer Hussain was among the founding members of the PDP and was once considered Mufti’s confidant. He was also a minister in the PDP-Congress coalition between 2003 and 2008
  • The PDP has also removed Mehboob Iqbal from the key position of general secretary
  • Four PDP legislators, including banker-turned-politician Haseeb Drabu, have already quit the party