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PDP to expel minister over shrine land transfer controversy

PDP to expel minister over shrine land transfer controversy

Author: Arun Joshi
Publication: Hindustan Times
Date: August 24, 2008
URL: http://hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=&id=aa3864ba-4dbc-4c82-a1e3-510c2f9c8080

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has decided to expel its founder and former deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffar Hussain Baig from the party, PDP sources said on Saturday.

The party was unhappy with the way Baig handled the controversial land diversion to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board during the state cabinet meeting in May 2008. He kept the "party leadership in the dark," the sources said.

Baig was also the law minister in the coalition government.

It is learnt that at an all-party meeting in New Delhi, Baig had given in writing that the PDP approved of the proposed draft on the land transfer. He did this without taking the party leadership into confidence.

"The People's Democratic Party today made it clear that only the party president Mehbooba Mufti is authorised to put forth the party's point of view at any forum, official or unofficial, on how to defuse the present crisis facing the state, a PDP spokesman said.

Reiterating the party's stand on how to defuse the present crisis, the spokesman quoting the party president said that before arriving at any decision, the "government must take all sections of the Kashmiri society, including the newly constituted Kashmir Coordination Committee into confidence.

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