Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah may have taken to launching joint attacks against the BJP on Twitter, but their newfound solidarity on common issues doesn't seem to have percolated down the party ranks. A video clip that has emerged on social media shows PDP supporters, including party spokesperson Najmu Saqib, roughing up a National Conference agent at the Bijbehara polling station in Anantnag district even as security personnel stand by passively.
According to news agency ANI, the PDP supporters alleged that the National Conference member was involved in "bogus voting" in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The video even shows one of the security personnel at the scene breaking into a grin before moving out of view.
Soon after, Mr Abdullah accused the PDP of resorting to violence in the face of imminent defeat in the polls. "They see the writing of their defeat on the wall and take it out on a young @JKNC_ volunteer. They can beat people up but that won't alter their fate," he tweeted.
News agency IANS has reported low voter turnout in the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency. She had won from the seat in the last general elections but resigned in 2016 to become the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed's death. The same year, she won the Anantnag assembly seat bypoll to get elected to the 87-member state legislative assembly.
Jammu & Kashmir: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters thrash a National Conference (NC) polling agent at Bijbehara polling station of Anantnag district, alleging bogus voting. #LokSabhaElections2019pic.twitter.com/yay2nDMQlI— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2019
Ms Mufti and Mr Abdullah have joined forces against the BJP on several issues in the recent past, including special status for Jammu and Kashmir, the centre's decision to suspend trade along the Line of Control with Pakistan, and a recent promise by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rid the state of "certain political families". In November last year, the National Conference even offered to back the PDP in its attempt to form the next government in the state. The move, however, was controversially thwarted by a "broken" fax machine at Governor Satya Pal Malik's residence.
However, the two leaders -- traditional rivals in the region -- occasionally snipe at each other too.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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