Javaid Hassan Baig, one of the rebel legislators from People’s Democratic Party, who attended its crucial meeting over Article 35-A on Monday, said that he has sorted out all differences with the leadership and “is back into the party fold”.
“I am back into the party fold. I had some complaints and grievances but things have been sorted out,” Baig told Alternate Kashmir.
According to Baig, Mehbooba personally called her a week ago for a meeting at her residence. “I put forth my viewpoints. We had a discussion over several issues. She (Mehbooba) said there was a communication gap which led to misunderstanding and it won’t be allowed to happen in future,” he said, revealing the details of the meeting.
After the meeting, he said that he spoke with his “elders, friends and supporters” who encouraged him to go back to the party.
Baig, who represents Baramulla constituency in the state assembly, had in July this year joined the rebel ranks, attacking the party leadership for remaining inaccessible to legislators. Other legislators who rebelled against the party include former minister Imran Raza Ansari, Abid Ansari, Muhammad Abbas Wani and Abdul MajeedPadder. Two MLCs, YasirReshi and Saif-ud-Din Bhat, are also part of the rebel group which has been claiming that a silent majority within the PDP has been supporting them.
Baig was one of the five dissenters led by Imran Raza Ansari who had come out in open and addressed a press conference on July 13, targeting the party leadership over alleged nepotism.
“Ab sab gilayshikway dour hogayhai,” said Baig.
“My family is part of the PDP. Baig sahib (MuzaffarHussainBaig) and his wife are in the party. It was difficult for me,” said Baig, who is the nephew of senior Baig.
His return to the party would be a setback to the rebel group which has over the past few weeks gone silent after certain news reports had earlier suggested that the BJP was working behind the scene to cobble up numbers for a new coalition to stake claim to government formation in J&K, which is presently under Governor’s rule.
Baig said that he is part of PDP for the past 18 years and has held several positions including that of youth general secretary, vice-president youth wing and state secretary youth, before he won from Baramulla in the 2014 Assembly elections.
National Conference vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah also talked about Baig’s presence in today’s meeting.
“Interestingly one of the PDP rebels is back in the fold. Those who had made a business out of counting how many were deserting PDP, @JKNC_& Congress will have to find a new pastime by look of it,” Omar tweeted, after the PDP’s meeting.
Earlier, Baig arrived at the residence of Mehbooba, who chaired the meeting in the morning.
“He attended the entire meeting and was in fact part of the committee that drafted the resolution calling for boycott of the civic polls,” said a senior party member. The committee was headed by vice-presidentAbdurRehmanVeeri.
During the meeting, a party member said, Baig spoke over Article 35-A and favored boycott of upcoming panchayat and urban local body polls.
Meanwhile, none of the other rebel legislators attended the meeting, said the party member. But party MLC and spokesperson FirdousTak said that “PDP’s doors are open to everyone.”
“The party’s doors are open to those also who spoke against it. The PDP is a family and a political thought which belongs to everyone who is part of the party,” said Tak, who is a member of legislative council.