New front to take shape in Jammu & Kashmir soon: PDP Rebel Minister

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The rebel People’s Democratic Party legislator and former Jammu and Kashmir minister Imran Ansari told ET that a new political front would soon take shape in the state which would free it from politicians’ games of emotionally blackmailing Kashmiris and politically blackmailing the central government.

The new front, Ansari said, would spring from a “homegrown rebellion” that would divorce resolution of Kashmir issue from governance and electoral politics. The front, he said, would speak truth to people without making any promises which cannot be fulfilled by the state assembly.

According to sources Ansari recently met and had dinner with People’s Conference chief and BJP ally Sajad Lone, who is seen as a potential leader of the emerging political front. Lone, however, told ET that his lips were sealed and he could not speak on the political developments in the state for now.

“We have to tell truth to people and cannot live with deception. I am ready for elections but most of the others want to form the government for the next two and a half years. This emerging group of like-minded people would prefer to stay in opposition rather than make false promises to people as has been the case till now,” said Ansari.

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When asked about a possible alliance of the new front with the BJP, Ansari said, “Why not?” The Shia leader, who has a strong electoral base in his own constituency of Pattan and influences voting in some other Shia belts, said that political discourse in the state needed to be changed as people had been kept hostage to “ifs and buts” and incessantly blackmailed by two families – Muftis and Abdullahs.

Soon after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with PDP on June 19, Ansari also announced his departure from PDP, criticizing Mufti, for turning the party into a family fiefdom. Another PDP legislator and Ansari’s uncle Abid Ansari, also rebelled followed by at least four other PDP legislators, Javid Hassan Baig, Abdul Majeed Padder and Muhammad Abbas Wani and Yasir Reshi.

Many more Ansari claims are feeling chocked and are in touch with him but are yet to come forward.

“They (Abdullahs and Muftis) claimed that if they are not in Kashmir nobody can raise flag of India here. And thus often rely on soft separatism. We have to call their bluff. We as a new front will tell people that we cannot offer you anything that is more than India. At the end of the day resolution of Kashmir will come from Delhi and Islamabad and not from this assembly,” Ansari told ET.

The new front what Ansari calls the ‘first front’ he believes would be a team of ‘real people’ who don’t have ‘dual faces’ and don’t suffer from any ‘delusions.’

“Delhi has become highly professional while dealing with Kashmir. Contrary to what many would want to believe, nobody is steering these developments. New Delhi cannot put votes into our ballot. Our group should be convinced of what we speak and then we can perform,” Ansari claims.

The end of PDP-BJP alliance, Ansari said was good for people of the state, but blames it squarely on Mufti.
“Why should we have a problem with BJP when PDP digressed and couldn’t make its electorate understand what this alliance stood for. They became self-contradictory by calling it unholy and south pole and the north pole,” said Ansari. He explained why PDP is not taking on the BJP for the harsh betrayal.

“One cannot take up the cudgels against New Delhi. Is Omar (Abdullah) speaking against BJP? After all it is the tap from where everything flows,” said Ansari.

Courtesy: Economic Times (Hakeem Irfan | ET Bureau )