PDP's Pandit face quits, cites J-K alliance with ‘ultra-right’ BJP

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2015 15:24 IST

A top leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Hindu face of the party has resigned citing the alliance with the “ultra-right,” as the party’s jittery alliance with the BJP came under strain on Monday, a month after forming the government in the state.

Sameer Kaul, who was the national spokesperson of the ruling party, accused the PDP leadership of compromising on its stated principles by tying up with the BJP, in his resignation letter on Sunday.

After the assembly elections last year threw up a hung verdict, the PDP and BJP cobbled up a coalition government in February after weeks of bitter wrangling on several issues including the common minimum programme.

It is the first time the BJP has had a role in governing the Muslim-majority state.

However, the alliance has faced many turbulences, the biggest when PDP released from prison a leading secessionist leader which had led the BJP fuming.

“The party has compromised on the very principles on which it was created. The primary being (its) alliance with (the) BJP after fighting elections on an anti-BJP agenda,” Kaul told HT.

Kaul, a Delhi-based cancer surgeon, was associated with the PDP for nearly four years.

He said the party also failed to keep its promise of giving representation to his own community, the Kashmiri Pandits, besides Sikhs and other minorities.

The resignation by Kaul would have come as a surprise even to the BJP as the community is known to have traditionally allied with the saffron party. Kaul, however, said it was a misconception.

In his letter, Kaul pointed to the “moment opportunism” when the party decided to form the government with the BJP and said, “I was disappointed because all the stated principles of the creation of PDP were straightforwardly compromised.”

He said, “Perhaps, it had something to do with embracing the ultra-right.”

The PDP refused to comment on Kaul’s resignation with chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed saying he had “no knowledge about the issue”.

Minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh also refused to comment on the matter.

“It is the internal matter of PDP. It will not be suitable for us to comment on it,” Singh said.

Kaul’s resignation came in the midst of talks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to include Mehbooba Mufti, daughter of Sayeed, in his expanded council of ministers.

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