Mehbooba Mufti's People's Democratic Party is facing a serious divide days after the BJP ended their alliance in Jammu and Kashmir. Three of the party's lawmakers have already spoken up against the former Chief Minister, blaming her for the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition. Sources indicated that they are contemplating a front that can provide an alternative to the PDP and the National Conference in the state and may even attempt to form government with the BJP, if they manage to muster the numbers.
The BJP has 25 lawmakers and the PDP 28 in the 89-member state assembly -- both far short of the majority mark of 45. The BJP ended their alliance last month, saying it had become "untenable" to continue with the PDP government.
On Monday, former minister Imran Ansari alleged that it was Ms Mufti's "incompetence" which led to collapse of PDP-BJP coalition. Within hours, he was backed up by lawmaker Mohammad Abbas Wani, who said Mr Ansari was "absolutely right". Mr Ansari's uncle, Abid Ansari, another PDP lawmaker, has already spoken out against Ms Mufti and sources say if the rebels manage to get more followers, the party may split.
"Mehbooba Mufti not only failed the PDP as a party but also dashed the dreams of her father late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that he had envisaged," Mr Ansari, who is seen as close to the BJP, was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India earlier this evening.
He also accused Ms Mufti of nepotism in the party as well as in the PDP-BJP coalition government she headed. "It had become a family show which was run by brothers, uncles and other relatives. The People's Democratic Party has become Family Democratic Party," Mr Ansari said.
The reference appeared to be the induction of Ms Mufti's brother Tasaduq Mufti, a political newbie, as cabinet minister earlier this year and her giving a key position to her uncle Sartaj Madni, in the party.