Mehbooba Mufti and Iltija Mufti
A statement of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is again in discussion, the discussion is more because this time Lover has announced that not only Jammu and Kashmir is going to influence the politics of Party Mehbooba Mufti has already announced a day before that she will not contest the elections until Article 370 is restored in Kashmir. He has clearly announced this for the assembly elections.
However, Mehbooba Mufti has said to consider for the Lok Sabha elections. Many political meanings are being extracted from this statement of Mehbooba, but the biggest question is who will take charge of PDP after Mehbooba Mufti.
What is the political significance of Mehbooba’s announcement?
After the removal of Article 370 from Kashmir, there was a secret alliance in Jammu and Kashmir. Seven parties including PDP, National Conference became part of it. DDC elections were held only after four months of formation and this alliance appeared to be collapsed. Since then, PDP and Mehbooba Mufti, who are struggling to save their political identity, gave birth to such an agenda by focusing on Article 370 alone, which made their image radical.
There are many areas in Kashmir itself where Mehbooba Mufti’s credibility has been tarnished by her statements. Although there is a part of the people of Kashmir who consider Mehbooba Mufti as their leader regarding Article 370, but their population is not enough to bring Mehbooba Mufti back to the government. Mehbooba knows that if elections are held in Kashmir, she may have to suffer losses, but still she wants to maintain her image. This was also visible in the DDC elections when PDP slipped to the third position with 27 seats. BJP was on the first number with 74 seats, National Conference on second with 67 seats, 49 independent candidates won.
Who will be the face of PDP if Mehbooba does not contest elections?
Mehbooba Mufti seems to have failed to save the political legacy of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in Jammu and Kashmir, its hallmark has been visible from time to time. Leaders like Altaf Bukhari, Muzaffar Hussain Baig Hare Haseeb Drabu, who are considered strong faces of PDP, are no longer in the party. It is said that these leaders have also left Mehbooba Mufti’s side only because of her radical tone. From the point of view of the party, after Mehbooba Mufti, Altaf Bukhari had the biggest stature in the party, who has now formed his own party.
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Will Iltija Mufti become the successor?
This statement of Mehbooba Mufti is also being considered as a launch pad for her daughter Iltija Mufti. It is also possible that Mehbooba Mufti may stick to her announcement by not contesting herself in the assembly elections, but make Iltija Mufti the face by fielding the party in the assembly elections. Political analyst Vishnu Shankar says that this has been happening in Indian politics, here on the retirement of a leader, his political legacy is handled by the son’s daughter.
Mehbooba Mufti can do this, because Iltija Mufti remains very active and has been openly discussing the issues of Kashmir. After the removal of Article 370, when Mehbooba Mufti was in custody from August to October 2020, the work of the party was handled by Kaz Iltija Mufti. However, if Mehbooba does so, the party may be at a loss rather than benefit, because even the top leaders who are left in the party may leave the party citing familism.
PDP getting weaker
In the politics of Kashmir, the People’s Democratic Party ie PDP is continuously getting weaker. Till now, this party, which has been in power twice in the state, used to dominate during the time of its founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, but after his death in 2016, the condition of the party got worse. At present, Mehbooba Mufti is heading the party, but the people of Kashmir do not have the same trust in her that their father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed used to have. This is the reason that many big leaders of PDP have also left Mehbooba Mufti’s side.