Delhi encouraging formation of new political party in J&K to digress attention from current political crisis

A few political leaders, largely from National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been engaged in intense parleys to mint a new political outfit, as per reports

Delhi encouraging formation of new political party in J&K to digress attention from current political crisis
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Gulzar Bhat

A smattering of political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir is making all-out efforts to form a new political party with the help of New Delhi.

A few political leaders, largely from J&K’s two main political parties --National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been engaged in intense parleys to mint a new political outfit.

While many political leaders including three former Chief Ministers have been subjected to prolonged incarceration after the ruling dispensation striped Jammu and Kashmir of its leftover autonomy, at least a dozen political leaders, particularly those who ran afoul of their parties, are said to be in constant touch with top BJP leaders to form a new political party to reconcile with the August 5 development

Ghulam Hassan Mir, a former minister and president of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Party (Nationalist) conceded that a new political platform would be formed soon.

"Consultations with different political leaders are on as the need for the formation of a new political platform was felt," Mir said.

He said that the need arose following the abrogation of special position of Jammu and Kashmir to take the region out of its current crisis.

Mir, however, did not divulge the names of other leaders who would be the part of this new platform.

"Many leaders from different political parties will be part of this new platform. It would be rather premature to give any details about these leaders," said Mir.

Former PDP leader Altaf Bukhari, who was also a minister in Mehbooba Mufti-led PD-BJP government, is seen as the architect of the new political arrangement which Mir preferred to call a "platform".

At least a dozen odd political leaders, mostly from PDP, met up with the New Delhi based foreign envoys in Srinagar last month. The political band was also led by the Bukhari.

Soon after the development, PDP drummed nine political leaders out of the party including former law makers, spokesperson and ministers.

Bukhari did not preclude the possibility of formation of a new political party in the region. "We will not shy away from forming a political party, if the need arises," Bukhari said.

Sources privy to the development told National Herald that at least 5-6 meetings were already held with different political leaders thus far.

"The new party will be formed within 2-3 months with many senior political leaders as its members," said the sources.

Most of them, according to the sources, are turncoat political leaders.

Javed Baig, a former PDP law maker, who was booted out of the party following his meeting with the Lieutenant Governor, said that he would be the part of any such political formation in the region.

Around four more political leaders this reporter interviewed for this report admitted in a tacit way that the formation of new political party was on the cards. Political analysts believe the new political outfit will be used to digress attention from the Modi government's August 5 radical move.

"Such leaders will make the development a main plank during the elections to divert the attention of people from the August 5 move," said a political analyst, who teaches at a local university, refusing to be named in this report.

Baig said that the new party, if formed, would push for the restoration of statehood, release of political detainees; safeguarding the rights of locals on the land and government employment.

Opposition political parties believe that any such political arrangement could no way help to assuage the hurt caused due to reading down of special provisions of Jammu and Kashmir. "The issue is bigger than the formation of a government. How could it address the alienation running deep among young men in the Valley?" asked GM Mizrab, regional secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI).

He added that nothing would work unless the core political issue was resolved.

Congress party chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir took the reports about the formation of new political outfit with a pinch of salt. "It is a disgruntled lot, largely from the PDP, who are perhaps making such efforts. After the demise of Mufti Syed, these leaders had also tried to dislodge Mehbooba after she formed the government with support of BJP," said Mir, adding that political parties are not made behind closed doors but with the support of people.

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