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PDP expels Altaf Bukhari for anti-party activities

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Happy over party’s decision, but reasons given for expulsion are debatable: Bukhari

Srinagar, Jan 19: People's Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday expelled senior party leader and former minister Altaf Bukhari from the party for anti-party activities.

"Party today expelled Altaf Bukhari from the party for his anti-party activities," the party said in a tweet.

The PDP said the party had been watching Bukhari's activities for some time and has expelled him from the basic membership of the party.

"Party has been watching with concern the activities of Altaf Bukhari for quite some time and thereby (he) stands expelled from the basic membership of party," the party headed by former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, said on Twitter.

Bukhari won his maiden Assembly election from Amira Kadal in 2014 and was a minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

He was, however, dropped from the cabinet by Mehbooba when she took over after Sayeed's death in 2016.

Bukhari was then made Minister for Education in February 2017 and went on to become the Finance minister of the State after Haseeb Drabu was expelled from the cabinet following his controversial remarks on Kashmir.

Meanwhile, reacting to his expulsion, Bukhari said “while I am happy over the party’s decision, but the reasons given for my expulsion are debatable.”

He said “it has been a long association with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) especially with its founder Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Sahib. My association with this party has been enriching in many ways. It not only gave me a chance to work for my constituency but provided me an opportunity to contribute my bit in the development across the nook and corner of the state.

During my journey of active politics “I have witnessed agreements and disagreements, gratification and obstructions, brewing resentment and misguided notions,” Bukhari said, adding that power and position have never been an allurement for him.

“During this brief stint of my active politics, I also got a chance to witness the downfall of so-called popular leaders and rise of those who were hitherto unknown in the arena of politics. I am also equally happy for this decision of the party as my conscience is clean and I never compromised on my principles.  I wish the J&K PDP all the very best!” Bukhari said.

He said a detailed press briefing will be convened very soon.

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