Peoples Democratic Party's chief whip Ghulam Hassan Khan has resigned from the party in protest against his neglect in the political and administrative affairs by the party leadership, putting the party in a spot immediately after it was celebrating its "victory" on the troop-cut issue.
Khan has sent his resignation letter to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti listing the reasons for his parting ways with the party. "There are various reasons for doing so, which I would detail in public at an appropriate time," he told Hindustan Times and added that he is willing to face fresh elections.
But, Mehbooba Mufti, when contacted, said: "I have no information". She had not received any communiqué from Khan. Khan's resignation has come about at a time when PDP is celebrating "victory" on the issue of the troop cut demand as the Centre has appointed three panels to look into this. Issue, which it had raised to a pitch.
The immediate provocation for Khan to take this step was negation of his choice in the selection of Deputy Commissioner for the newly created district of Shopian, which he represents in the Assembly. He had pinned hopes on the PDP ministers, who attended Saturday's cabinet meeting, ending a boycott of more than 40 days on the issue of the troops reduction.
"Though I had repeatedly told the party's ministers about my choice of the Deputy Commissioner, but at the end of the cabinet meeting, it was some one else. I cannot tolerate this, so I decided to quit the party," he said.
But the chief whip of the PDP could not get his choice through because party's legislature party leader and Agriculture Minister Abdul Aziz Zargar, who represents Noorabad constituency, in the same area, pitched for Abdul Hamid, special secretary in Cooperative Department, as the Deputy Commissioner for Shopian district.
Khan declared that he would not take the things lying down. "I am willing to go back to the people and seek their fresh mandate as and when the elections are announced," Khan said, aware of the fact that under the existing anti-defection law, he could lose his seat in the Assembly in the eventuality of his party accepting his resignation.
But the rebellious PDP leader said that he would not retreat unless he is conferred dignity and also a re-think if the Deputy Commissioner is appointed of his choice. But that must happen soon.
Party leaders said that this was a matter that would get resolved. "He is our dear colleague and it would be resolved," said a senior PDP leader Ghulam Hassan Mir, who recently played a key role in easing tensions between PDP and the Centre over the issue of the troop cut.