Sayeed cools off in Mumbai as wrangling over govt formation continues

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2015 18:31 IST

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who is at the centre of wrangling over elusive government formation after fractured mandate in Jammu and Kashmir, is holidaying in Mumbai these days to dismount anxieties and divisions brewing within the party.

Sources said 78-year-old Mufti left for Mumbai a week ago to spend time with his family. He has preferred to have least contact with the party leaders from the state.

Mufti's decision of holidaying in Mumbai comes amid unrest and upheaval within the party over the government formation with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The coalition attempts of two parties, which belong to two extreme political spectrum, has the PDP facing some heat from
several quarters.

Recently, senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussein Baig, also MP from Baramulla, breached the party diktat and expressed his individual opinion over the West Pakistan refugee issue, describing it "humanitarian" and seeking "middle ground", throwing his support behind the BJP.

The PDP had to formally distance itself from Baig's statements with the party spokesman Naeem Akhtar putting to rest the controversy and said that the refugee issue would be solely dealt by the state legislature.

But Mufti preferred to be silent and allowed the party leaders to wrangle over issues festering within the PDP.
The fear of media leaks, like the one where moderate separatist leader Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat met him at his Srinagar residence in December, is also keeping Mufti away from the centre of action in Jammu. The party is mum over reaching any agreement on contentious issues with the BJP.

In 2008 too, when the Amarnath land row snowballed into a major controversy, Sayeed left for the US, while his party announced to withdraw support from the Congress, pulling down the government in the state.

Sources said Mufti was returning to Jammu before February 7 to participate in the Rajya Sabha polls for four seats of J&K.

A government remains elusive in the state even after 40 days since results were declared on December 23. The PDP with 28 seats and the BJP with 25 seats in the 87-member assembly aims at striking a coalition, paving way for first ever BJP government in the state since 1947.

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