Baig hints at joining 3rd Front, lashes out at PDP

‘PDP fell into trap by boycotting polls’

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Nov 20: Senior People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and its co-founder Muzaffar Hussain Baig today said that he is ready to join the third front if it takes the shape of a political force in the State.
Targeting PDP leadership for its decision to boycott local elections during a press conference at his residence, Baig said the party hasn’t lived up to its vision. “I will see how the party reacts to my statement. I am hurt and disillusioned by the way the matters were handled by the PDP,” Baig said.
He said: “If PDP doesn’t take a decision and follows NC over major policy decisions, I would be constrained to be part of third front, the formation of which is very much possible in the current political scenario in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Baig said that the formation of a third front should be encouraged because people are looking for something new. “PC (Peoples Conference) has been like a home to me. For me Sajjad Lone has been like a son… if Sajjad Lone is interested …that there should be a third force that should emerge that could be considered…should be considered… he should be encouraged because people are looking for something new,” he said.
The former Deputy Chief Minister asked the PDP top brass to stop following Abdullahs on poll boycott. He said the PDP unwittingly fell into a trap by boycotting the polls.
Beigh while seeking explanations from NC top brass particularly the two top leaders for boycotting civic polls over an assurance on Article 35-A, regretted that PDP didn’t take him on board on boycott of civic polls.
He alleged that NC top brass decided to boycott the polls after hostile statements from a party’s senior leader. “Democracy and public connectivity is build up at grass roots and no political party has the right to claim to be a political party if it doesn’t participate in elections”, he said.
About the fall of PDP-BJP Government, Beigh said: “I was consulted only for a day when the alliance was to be formed with the BJP in the lifetime of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. I told late Mufti that meeting up minds is very important for making the alliance workable and if the alliance is made workable it could become a model for rest of India.”
About the working of PDP-BJP Government, Beigh said PDP failed to deliver on the promises it made to the people during last Assembly elections as development deficit was visible on the ground due to non-utilization of funds. “The heart goes to unemployed PhD scholars who are unemployed and have become disillusioned. Youth have lost faith in mainstream and as well as Hurriyat as they now speak about Khilafat propagated from Arab and implemented in India and Pakistan”, he added.
“If rigging in 1987 elections won’t have taken place, militancy would not have taken routes in Jammu and Kashmir”, Beigh said. “Salah-ud-din who contested from Amira Kadal Assembly constituency found himself in Shaheed Gunj Police lock-up along with his wife and Yasin Malik, along with his sister”, he said.
Alleging that Government in Pakistan has not the courage to take hard decisions and reach out to India for a dialogue over Kashmir. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached out to former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief and met his family just to request for a peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue but Pathankot spoiled all the ground work done for the resumption of India Pakistan dialogue.”
Baig said it pained him to see young Kashmiri boys and Indian soldiers dying in Kashmir. “Politicians are responsible for this bloodshed”, he said.
He said that PDP was formed to take a route to middle ground after the 70-year-long failure of NC in the State. “I am sorry to say that PDP has failed to take the middle ground route for which it was formed”, he added.
He alleged that he and Tariq Karra were virtually thrown out of State politics after their fielding for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Apprehending that the politics being played in Jammu and Kashmir may lead to trifurcation of the State, Beigh said: “Kashmir mainstream parties can’t afford to take part in civic elections in Ladakh and Kargil and boycott in Kashmir valley.”
In reply to a question on election of PDP president, Beigh said: “Last time, a committee was set up to amend the bylaws but the committee didn’t meet even once. People are looking for a change and if PDP doesn’t mend its ways and continues following NC, the change would be visible.”