The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is mulling considerable changes in its party constitution to transfer many of the powers of the all-powerful president Mehbooba Mufti to its patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig in a bid to revive its fortunes ahead of the Assembly elections.
In its dismal performance in the parliamentary elections, the PDP lost all three seats in the Kashmir valley, and among the losers was the party president Mehbooba Mufti. That was a big blow to the party as it was aware of the anger of people against its leadership, but not to the extent where it would reject the most famous face of the party in the elections, that too from the party bastion south Kashmir.
Sources told Kashmir Post that the party was seriously mulling to bring substantial changes in its constitution in which the patron would be having powers that rest with the president now.
The issue had come up after the party deliberated it on its humiliating defeat in the parliamentary polls on May 28 in which Baig did some straight talk and is reported to have told the meeting that the consultative process in the party had collapsed. He was particularly angry over the tendency to take unilateral decisions and taking other leaders for granted.
This set the ball rolling for bringing changes in the party’s constitution.
The sources said the party was now thinking that the patron would be empowered so that he had a considerable say in the decision-making process.
Beg was made patron of the party early this year – first non-Mufti (earlier it was Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who held this position) to be elevated to this post. He is among the founders of the party and had been the party’s face in championing its ideology all along.
“This is a necessity for us to rejuvenate the party, and present a senior leader as also the decision-maker. This is a likely step toward collective leadership,” said a source.
The party had suffered desertions after the fall of the PDP-led coalition government in June last year.
Meanwhile, In yet another blow to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its Srinagar district organising secretary Aijaz Ahmad Rather resigned on Thursday stating that the party was not following the basic principles of democracy
In his letter of resignation to party president Mehbooba Mufti, Aijaz said he would “not be able to fulfil” his responsibility henceforth. He added that the decision was taken with “deep disappointment” over the party’s affairs being run by the PDP leadership
“I tender resignation from my basic membership and as the district organising secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, Srinagar, with effect from today,” he said in his resignation letter
Referring to his long association with the party, Aijaz said he had witnessed many phases wherein it was trying to prove as a viable political alternative
“In the light of the present situation within the party, it was clear that the party was not following the principles of democracy which formed basis of its creation,” he said
Several former leaders, including Haseeb Drabu, Basharat Bukhari, Imran Raza Ansari and Raja Aijaz Ali, have left the party during the last year