In an effort to keep its flock together, the PDP on Monday appointed its founding member and dissident parliamentarian Muzaffar Hussain Baig as the party’s patron. The announcement came following a five-hour marathon meet of senior party leaders, chaired by party president Mehbooba Mufti.
The development comes amid a rebellion in the PDP, with former MLA Abass Wani resigning from the primary membership of the party on Monday. Wani is the fourth PDP leader to have announced his resignation from the party. Three former MLAs — Imran Ansari and his uncle Abid Ansari, former finance minister Haseeb Drabu — have quit the party following the dissolution of the assembly.
“Yes, Baig sahib has been appointed as the patron of the party,” PDP chief spokesman Rafi Ahmad Mir told The Indian Express.
A senior party leader, who was part of the meet, said the party president offered the post of patron to Baig, who accepted it.
On Novermber 20, a day before the PDP, National Conference and Congress joined hands to stake claim for forming a government in Jammu and Kashmir, Baig had voiced his opposition to the decision and publically announced that he would “seriously consider joining” the third front, led by Sajad Lone.
The next day, Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the lower house of the state legislature.
The PDP’s Monday meet, held at former CM Mehbooba’s residence, was attended by all senior party leaders except former minister Basharat Bukhari. PDP officials said that Bukhari had informed the party that he couldn’t attend the meet as he was in his constituency and was not provided security for the travel because of a shutdown call given by the separatists.