TSL News Network
JAMMU, Nov 20: Breaking his silence and confirming that is leading the rebels within PDP, ex-Deputy Chief Minister and PDP Member Parliament (MP) Muzaffar Hussain Beigh today said that he has asked PDP leadership some questions and expects them to answer before he would think of parting ways and joining the third front of which he said, he was always the part.
Beigh applauded Chairman of Peoples Conference Sajjad Gani Lone, thus dropping a hint that he is already in talks with third front, which is being shaped by New Delhi and Beigh would be an important member. He did not mince words while saying that Peoples Conference is like home to him and Sajjad Lone is like a son. And what has come as a rude shock to the PDP leadership is Beigh saying that Lone should be encouraged if he forms the third front.
Sources told The Straight Line that Beigh is in talks with several leaders within PDP and if all goes as planned, he may lead PDP rebels, shake hands with other third front leaders and form government with BJP after Panchayat Elections. Though this is being dismissed as day dreaming of Beigh by top PDP leaders but insiders maintain that the PDP leadership knows well that Beigh can manage a coup within the party if he decides so.
Addressing press conference at his residence, ex-Finance and MP Muzaffar Hussain Beigh started his interaction by saying that he wished to speak his heart out. “I am going to speak my heart out. I am not resigning from the party but waiting for the party leadership to respond to my queries. And this does not mean, I am ruling out the possibility of joining the third front,” said Beigh, thus making it clear that he is in talks with leaders of third front.
On being asked about Sajjad Lone trying to cobble up numbers and form a government in Jammu and Kashmir, Beigh said that Peoples Conference was like home to him and Sajjad Lone like his son. “If Sajjad is interested in the third front, he should be encouraged,” Beigh suggested. He added that a year back PDP formed a committee to amend the party constitution of which he was the chairman and they had submitted a report to party president Mehbooba Mufti. “Meeting was supposed to be called but that never happened. Now I will decide my future only after I get a response from the party about the statements I made today. If PDP doesn’t take a note, then I’ll change my party.”
Beigh also said that he decided to speak because some developments have taken place which merited him speaking his mind out. He asked the main two political parties, National Conference and PDP to clear their stand on Article 35A. “The logic to boycott election was baseless. Why did they boycott it when the decision on this Article has to be taken by the Supreme Court. Sometimes cases take a long time. Maybe this takes more than five years, does that means NC will boycott assembly elections?”
Beigh also accused PDP of following NC in the boycott of the municipal and Panchayat elections. “Grassroot level development is possible only if decisions are taken at grassroot level. NC takes a defensive route but NC manages to pull PDP towards accepting the decisions it takes. I am sorry to say that neither NC nor PDP has the courage to take bold decisions,” he said.
While recalling the days of the formation of PDP with late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in Kashmir, Beigh said that PDP was created to fight against the family Raj. “We wished to create space for dissent in Jammu and Kashmir, a formidable opposition against the family Raj. But the party seems to have lost the track,” said Beigh. He accused PDP of taking a decision without consulting him when he was just a phone call away. He said his party offended MLAs as well as MLCs.
“PDP leadership backstabbed both workers as well as leaders. Our politicians are responsible for the killings. No matter who gets killed, it is their families who suffer,” said Beigh. He applauded NC founder and first Prime Minister of J&K Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah and while mentioning his work he said, “People like Sheikh Abdullah are born once in hundred years. Both the parties should have learnt lessons from Sheikh Sahib. But they failed,” said Beigh.
He went two steps ahead and criticised PDP leadership for hurrying up while allying with BJP for forming government in Jammu and Kashmir. “I was consulted just once when the talks with BJP were going on. I clearly told the party leadership that unless there is a meeting of minds, this alliance won’t work. My fears came true when the alliance failed in delivering on the expected lines. Coordination committee never met. There was mess all around,” said Beigh.
“Funds remained unutilised and in certain cases, the government failed in getting funds from the central government. It failed to address the grievances of the youth of Kashmir valley,” said Beigh while adding that his heart goes out for all those graduates and post-graduates and doctorate degree holders who are unemployed. I am not anti-youth. Kashmiri and Jammuites are intelligent but they have lost faith in the system. They have even lost faith in Hurriyat leadership. That is why, they are taking extreme steps.”
On speculation that rivals PDP and National Conference may join hands to form a government to stop the BJP, 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.” He also spoke about the two neighbouring countries, India and Pakistan.
He said both are committed to resolving the Kashmir issue through Shimla agreement. “But because of militancy both in Pakistan and here, Pakistan doesn’t have the courage to have a dialogue with India. It is in the interest of both countries to resolve the Kashmir issue.”