Muzaffar Baig unlikely to be part of Bukhari’s ‘Apni Party’

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SRINAGAR — People’s Democratic Party (PDP) patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig is unlikely to be part of a new political party as talks between him and former Finance Minister Altaf Bukhari over the leadership issues have reached a dead-end, sources disclosed.

Sources familiar with the negotiations said that talks between him and Bukhari failed due to divergences between the two on the role of the former (Baig) in the new party. “The talks are almost over. We have not accepted conditions put forth by Baig,” a leader in Bukhari’s camp disclosed.

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Sources in Baig’s camp also confirmed that talks between the two sides have collapsed. “Baig Sahab has his own political stature. Nobody among them (new party leaders) can match his political clout and experience,” he said.

Baig has served as J&K’s Deputy Chief Minister in the PDP-Congress government and represented north Kashmir’s Baramulla segment from 2014 to 2019 in Parliament.

Bukhari, who was Finance Minister in Mehbooba Mufti-led government, is set to launch his political party on Sunday here. “He is also expected to hold a meeting of key members of the party tomorrow here to give final shape to the formation of the new party,” they disclosed.

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Bukhari had approached Baig to join the new party to be christened as “Apni Party”. The new political party is being launched at a time when almost all top mainstream leaders of Kashmir are in detention under the Public Safety Act.

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