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PDP gets another jolt; Iqbal, Runyal quit party

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All office bearers from Bhaderwah resign en masse

Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got another jolt as one of its General Secretaries from Chenab Valley Sheikh Mehboob Iqbal, and another leader from Banihal, former bureaucrat Bashir Ahmad Runyal announced his decision to quit the party.

Iqbal contested unsuccessfully 2014 assembly elections from Bhaderwah constituency.

Following the lead, almost all other office bearers of PDP’s district body as well as zonal body of district Doda and Bhaderwah also resigned from the basic membership of the party.

Those who submitted their resignations include Sheikh Mehboob Iqbal, Shokat Malik, City President, Ashraf Kelu, District General Secretary, Ejaz lone, District Secretary, Hafizul Basheer, District Publicity Secretary, Sajid Mir, Former District Youth President, Irshad Laway, Zonal General Secretary, Sartaj, Block President, Atkhar Ayaz, Block President Kelar and Ghulam Rasool, Youth District Secretary.

Meanwhile, the PDP Monday suffered another setback when a former bureaucrat Bashir Ahmad Runyal announced his decision to quit the party.

Runyal, a former IAS officer who was Ramban district president and state secretary of the PDP, had joined the party prior to the 2014 Assembly polls after his retirement and had unsuccessfully contested the elections from Banihal constituency.

“I have tendered my resignation from the basic membership of the party and I am fighting the upcoming assembly elections as an independent candidate,” he told reporters in Banihal.

Runyal was accompanied by BJP leader Showkat Javaid Daing who also announced his resignation from the basic membership of the saffron party.

“We have decided to join hands in the larger interest of the development of our area which was ignored by the previous PDP-BJP government,” he said.

Daing had also unsuccessfully contested the last Assembly elections on BJP ticket from Banihal constituency which was won by Congress candidate Vikar Rasool Wani.

The BJP candidate had got over 10,000 votes. Runyal said personally he had nothing against the party leadership, but his decision to leave the PDP was under pressure from workers and the public who felt let down by the previous government.

After the fall of the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government in June, the PDP is facing revolt within the party and so far many of its leaders, including former ministers and legislators, have deserted the party.

Prominent among those who left the party included former ministers Haseeb Drabu, Imran Reza Ansari, Peer Hussain and Syed Basharat Bukhari and former MLAs Abid Hussain Ansari and Mohammad Abbass Wani. Another PDP leader, Raja Aijaz too has resigned from the party.

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