The show must go on—is believed to be the new strategy of Peoples Democratic Party—after facing desertion by former ministers and MLAs, leaving the assembly segments leaderless.
According to party insiders, the new strategy has been formulated in wake of the upcoming assembly elections—as the party believes that they can woo the party cadre from the deserting leaders.
PDP President and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, last week met party workers from Rajpora assembly segment, a part of Pulwama district of south Kashmir. In the last election, the assembly segment was won by former PDP leader and ex- finance minister Haseeb Drabu, who resigned from the party last year.
Scores of workers from the constituency met Mehbooba at her Fairview residence with PDP Youth wing President Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra also addressing them. In the last election, PDP had replaced it's leader Syed Bashir with Drabu who went on to win the Rajpora segment.
However, sources in the party reveal that the leadership credits Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra for having galvanized a good share of vote bank for Drabu.
In the meeting with PDP workers Mehbooba has told the PDP workers from Rajpora that Drabu left the party even though he was awared a cabinet post in the PDP-BJP government which lost power in June last year. Earlier this month, Mehbooba also met party workers from Chadoora assembly segment represented in last three assembly tenures by former PDP leader and cabinet minister Javaid Mustafa Mir.
Mir resigned from the party sighting PDP leadership's "non-inclusive" attitude towards senior leaders including him.
The party's official Twitter handle shared video clips of enthusiastic party workers from Chadoora pledging support to PDP president and party.
Last week, Mehbooba presided over a party meeting where supporters of a social worker Muhammad Yaseen joined the PDP.
Mehbooba in the joining-in ceremony of Yaseen reiterated that Javaid Mustafa Mir ditched the party even after she made her a cabinet minister, a statment countered by Mir by stating that it was the PDP MLAs who won on their own and chose her as chief minister.
On similar lines, PDP is planning a meeting of PDP President with the party workers from Sangrama constituency represented in last assembly by former PDP leader and cabinet minister Syed Basharat Bukhari.
Recently the party brought in former media advisor to Mehbooba Mufti government, Suhail Bukhari into the party fold.
Interestingly, Suhail hails from Kreeri area of Sangrama assembly segment. Meanwhile the party has also employed PDP Women wing President Safina Baig in Sangrama who over the last fortnight has conducted “public grievance” programmes in the constituency.
In the coming days, the party is also eyeing to hold similar exercises in Uri where from its former party leader Raja Aijaz Ali resigned to join the Sajad Lone led Peoples Conference.
A senior party leader wishing anonymity said that the party is also looking for candidates in the constituencies where from leaders left. “The current show of strength is being organised to keep the party cadre intact. The party wants to show that it hasn’t lost ground in the constituencies where leaders have left,” the leader said.