Mehbooba faces more rebellion as Drabu quits
As reports say Drabu may join Sajjad Lone-led Third Front, Mufti fears more of her PDP leaders will follow suit.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti is facing the possibility of a split in the party as Haseeb Drabu, former Finance Minister and the architect of the alliance with BJP, resigned. Earlier, PDP’s Baramulla MP, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh had said that he would join Sajjad Gani Lone’s Third Front. Mehbooba Mufti had to go to his residence to iron out the differences, but the fear remains that he will also leave.
According to insiders, the PDP chief has been accusing Drabu and Dr Amitabh Mattoo of having deep connections with the intelligence set-up and for materialising the PDP-BJP alliance with her late father, despite her opposition to the move.
Mehbooba has been crying foul against the central leadership of BJP for engineering defections in her party. She has been maintaining that BJP has been trying to make her weak in Kashmir as she refused to budge on any of their demands including bringing Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir.
There are already reports in the media that Drabu is going to join the Lone-led front. Mehbooba now fears that more of her party members will follow suit and they have a “deep understanding” with BJP at the central level.
A worried Mehbooba is trying her best to bring back all rebels and her meeting with Beigh was the first step in this direction.
When she sacked Drabu as Finance Minister over his remark that “Kashmir is not a political issue”, she had not accepted his resignation from the party.
Lone is focusing on North Kashmir and wants to bring into his fold all the prominent political activists so as to emerge as a signal-largest party in the Valley. He is working hard in his home district of Kupwara in this direction and got a shot in the arm with the joining of Imran Raza Ansari, who has a huge influence in Baramulla district.
Although Drabu in a tweet has rejected the rumours that he is going to join the Third Front, political observers feel that he may take more time to see how the political landscape of Kashmir takes shape before the announcement of Assembly and parliamentary polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu will decide on aligning with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh for the coming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections next summer, only after 11 December, when results of the five states, including Telangana, are announced. It is likely that Naidu will go with Congress if only their Mahakutami (People’s Front) fares well in Telangana.
Naidu said this much when asked at a media conference in Hyderabad on 5 December about whether he would be going for a pre-poll alliance with Congress in Andhra too. “We will see that later,” was the terse reply from Naidu who was flanked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi at the media conference meant to wrap up the TRS supremo and Telangana caretaker Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s (KCR’s) only son and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao (KTR) will emerge taller if his party wins a second term after the Assembly election results are announced on 11 December. Already, both KCR and KTR have claimed victory at the end of polling on Friday.
Some in the party are predicting KTR’s elevation as its working president, while others expect him to take over from his father as the CM sometime midway during the term of five years. As he already holds key portfolios of Information Technology, Industries and Municipal Administration, there cannot be a greater role in the Cabinet, including that of a Deputy Chief Minister, say party seniors.
According to these leaders, KCR will play a greater role in national politics after the