M A I N   N E W S

PDP pulls out over land row
Ehsan Fazili & PTI

Srinagar, June 28
The Congress-led coalition government was today reduced to minority with its junior partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), pulling out over the issue of transfer of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. With this, over five-year-long Congress-PDP coalition has come to an end, months ahead of the Assembly elections.

“There was lot of trouble going on over the issue of land transfer to the shrine board. We could not wait till the June 30 deadline,” PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told reporters after a two-hour meeting of party legislators.

“We have pulled out of the government and submitted a letter to the Governor in this regard,” Mehbooba said.

The PDP has 18 MLAs in the 87-member state Assembly while the Congress has 21 members. The coalition has the support of eight Independent MLAs and two CPM legislators. The issue had taken a serious situation over the past week with the people taking to the streets in support of the demand of withdrawal of the controversial order, though the PDP as the major coalition partner had been party to the orders.

Mehbooba told a press conference here this evening that her party had decided to withdraw the support to the coalition government. “In view of the ever deepening crisis, it is our moral duty to disassociate ourselves from the government,” Mehbooba read from a letter written to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

She said the PDP ministers had submitted their resignation letters to Azad through senior members — Abdul Aziz Zargar, Tariq Hameed Karra and Mohammad Dilawar Mir. The three had also met Governor N.N. Vohra at the Raj Bhawan and handed over a letter of the withdrawal of support, Mehbooba said.

“We fail to understand why Azad passed the order in the cabinet despite opposition by PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. There were several fights during cabinet meetings over the issue and the CM just kept on watching,” she said.

The PDP had earlier set a deadline of June 30 before the government for withdrawal of the controversial order, but the decision had come in the wake of worsening situation in the state, particularly in the valley, in which at least four persons had lost their lives so far and many more injured in protests.



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