SRINAGAR – Mehboob Beigh – senior leader of ruling National Conference in Jammu and Kashmir – on Sunday announced withdrawal from the party and said that he would support the patron of opposition Peoples Democratic Party – Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The move is a major setback to the ruling party which is gearing up for upcoming Assembly elections in the State and has sought a third term.
Beigh reportedly withdrew his candidature from Anantnag constituency in South Kashmir. He said he will not contest elections and will instead campaign for PDP patron Mufti Sayeed.
“I will not contest from Anantnag on National Conference ticket and have decided to support Syeed.” Beigh told media at his residence in Sarnal after addressing a gathering of workers.
He also accused National Conference of neglecting Anantnag district. “Whenever I attended board meetings and raised issues of the district but the government ignored them.”
Meanwhile, working president of National Conference and current Chief Minister of the State – Omar Abdullah – reacted to the development on micro-blogging site twitter. “There can be no denying that Beigh’s departure is something NC could have done without but it has been on the cards for a couple of weeks,” he wrote.
“If the PDP really wants to know what Beg thinks of them just pull out the recordings of his campaign speeches from the last LS polls,” he wrote.
65-five-year old Mehboob was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha from the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency. Beigh lost to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in the 2014 Parliamentary elections. He was a member of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly for two terms during 1983-1987 and 2002–2008. During March 2009 to May 2009 he was member of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council also.