PDP pulls out of Kashmir government (Lead)June 28th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, June 28 (IANS) The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Saturday pulled out of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir over the allotment of forest land to the Amarnath shrine authorities that has sparked violent protests in the Kashmir Valley. After a meeting of PDP ministers and legislators at the residence of party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who is out of the country, his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told reporters: “All our ministers have tendered their resignations from the council of ministers in the state. We have withdrawn support to the coalition government in the state.”
She added: “We had told Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad that we would be forced to pull out of the government if the land allotment to SASB (Shri Amarnath Shrine Board) was not rescinded by the end of this month.
“By his attitude it was clear the chief minister was in no mood to address the aspirations of the people, leaving us little option but to withdraw from the government”.
The PDP president said the party decision had been conveyed to Governor N.N. Vohra and the chief minister.
The Congress-PDP alliance government was formed in 2002 after state assembly elections in which the National Conference was voted out of power.
The PDP decision follows widespread protests all over the Kashmir Valley by those who allege that the shrine management would settle “outsiders” on the land and thus change the demography of the region. The land was given to the SASB to provide facilities to Hindu pilgrims who visit the cave shrine every year.
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Tags: alliance government, amarnath shrine, assembly elections, chief minister, coalition government, council of ministers, demography, forest land, ghulam nabi azad, hindu pilgrims, jammu and kashmir, kashmir valley, land allotment, resignations, sasb, sayeed, shrine board, state assembly, violent protests, vohra