PDP president Mehbooba Mufti used her party's 19th foundation day on Sturday to allay any fears of widespread dissent against her leadership as all legislators from Kashmir, except the disgruntled seven, were present at the function.
While the seven rebel legislators -- five MLAs and two MLCs -- led by influential Shia leader Imran Ansari stayed away from the party function as expected, former finance minister and MLA from Rajpora Haseeb Drabu also was not present.
Drabu, who was unceremoniously sacked from the cabinet by Mehbooba Mufti in March this year for saying that Kashmir was not a political issue, is in Mumbai attending to "his business which is not political in nature", sources close to the MLA said.
Drabu had taken to Twitter last week to drop hints that he was not part of the rebel group. "In news reports, I read myself being referred to as a 'disgruntled MLA'. Wonder why? I neither have, nor have I expressed any personal cavil. For the member of a Legislative Assembly which is in suspended animation the appropriate descriptor could be 'disinterested'!" he said in a tweet.
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Soon after the BJP ended its coalition with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, Ansari led a revolt against Mehbooba's leadership, accusing her of nepotism.
He was joined by his uncle, MLA Zadibal Abid Ansari, MLA Baramulla Javaid Baig, MLA Tangmarg Abbas Wani, MLA Noorabad Abdul Majid Padder, MLC Yasir Reshi and MLC Saifuddin Bhat.
The three MLAs from Jammu region -- Chaudhary Zulfikar Ali, Shah Mohammad Tantray and Qamar Shah -- were also not present at today's function, but a senior PDP leader said they were busy preparing for a similar event to be held in Jammu on Monday.
"The office bearers and legislators, including the three MLAs from Jammu region, are busy preparing for the party function scheduled to be held on Monday. The party president will preside over it," party general secretary Ved Mahajan told PTI.
Those who attended the foundation day function here today included Lok Sabha member Muzaffgar Hussain Baig, Rajya Sabha members Fayaz Mir, Nazir Ahmad Laway, MLAs Abdul Rahman Veeri, Ghulam Nabi Lone, Abdul Haq Khan, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Mohammad
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Khalil Bandh, Asiya Naqash, Syed Faroooq Andrabi, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Raja Manzoor, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, Abdul Rahim Rather and Altaf Bukhari.
Senior PDP leader and MLC Naeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madni, Dilawar Mir, Peerzada Mansoor Hussain Sohrwadhy and Nizam ud din Bhat were also present.