PDP founder member Muzaffar Hussain Baig quits party over seat sharing in DDC polls

Srinagar: Founder member of PDP Muzaffar Hussain Baig resigned from the party on Saturday following a disagreement over seat sharing for the forthcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir, party sources said.

The sources said Baig informed PDP patron Mehbooba Mufti about his decision of leaving the party with which he has been associated since its inception in 1998. Baig was not immediately available for comment.

The party sources said he was upset over seat distribution, especially in north Kashmir, by the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an hurriedly cobbled amalgam of mainstream political parties, including the National Conference, the PDP, the People's Conference and the CPI(M).

Mufti, meanwhile, said the PAGD was formed to safeguard the identity of people of Jammu and Kashmir, and to assume it was created for petty electoral gains is erroneous.

"PAGD was formed solely to safeguard the identity of people of J&K thats been under constant attack since Aug 2019. To assume it was created for petty electoral gains or to further party interests is erroneous. We have a bigger cause to fight for than bicker over DDC elections," the PDP president tweeted.

The Congress has also extended support to the PAGD and expressed willingness in seat sharing for the DDC polls, which will begin from November 28. The Jammu and Kashmir poll panel announced an eight-phase election to 20 DDCs, in the first major electoral exercise in the Union Territory since the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.

The PAGD announced on Thursday the seat-sharing list for the first phase of the polls. The NC is contesting on the majority of the 27 seats in the Kashmir Valley, with the party putting up its candidates on 21 seats. The People's Democratic Party (PDP), led by Mufti, is contesting on four seats, while the Sajad Lone-led People's Conference (PC) bagged two seats for the first phase.

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