Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s party colleague Muzaffar Baig threatened to quit the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and join a “third front” in the state.
Muzaffar Baig, a PDP parliamentarian from Baramulla, hinted at teaming up with Sajjad Gani Lone, the leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, and did not rule out forming a government, saying there were people within the PDP “who want an elected government”.
Mr Baig hit out at his party for boycotting the recent civic body and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, saying he will “seriously consider” joining a third front if it emerges.
“The PDP betrayed the workers, denying them a chance to connect with the people, by boycotting the elections. They left a vacuum and that space has now been occupied. Politics does not wait for people who boycott,” the PDP leader told reporters at his home.
Mr Baig said he was not consulted on the party’s decision to boycott the local body polls.
“I was in Delhi, just a phone call away. I remained quiet because I did not want the PDP to fall apart,” he said.
Recent reports have talked about the BJP attempting to tie-up with Sajjad Lone to form a government in the state, where six-month central rule ends next month. But since it doesn’t have enough numbers in the 87-member house, there is also a theory that the centre will aim at holding state elections in March and forming an alliance before that.
On speculation that rivals PDP and National Conference may join hands to form a government to stop the BJP, Mr Baig said: “It will be an alliance of one religion. Jammu would not like it, Ladakh will not remain part of the state. This will lead to trifurcation of the state.”
Asked if he would quit the PDP, he said he would wait for a response from his party leadership. “I have not made up my mind. I will have to think about it. It is very difficult to resign from a party which I have formed,” he said.
He insisted that he had not been contacted by the BJP or People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone so far.
“Sajjad Lone is like my son… If Sajjad (Lone) is interested in (formation of third front), it should be encouraged. People want something different from the beaten track,” Beigh said.
But he added: “Sajjad has not contacted me directly. The BJP has not contacted me (on government formation or third front formation).”