Former minister and senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mohammad Khalil Bandh Sunday joined National Conference (NC) prompting former NC Rajya Sabha member, G N Ratanpuri, to resign from the party.
Bandh, a founding member of PDP, joined NC at its headquarters in presence of NC president Farooq Abdullah.
Within hours of Band’s joining, Ratanpuri submitted his letter of resignation to NC president Farooq Abdullah.
On Wednesday, three- time MLA and two- time cabinet minister Khalil Bandh quit PDP accusing party leadership of compromising on its basic principles after demise of former CM, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Bandh won the Pulwama assembly seat for the PDP in the 2002, 2008 and 2014 assembly elections. He was also PDP’s district president from Pulwama.
However, soon after Bandh’s joining, NC’s Rajya Sabha MP Ratanpuri quit the party.
Ratanpuri fought 2014 assembly polls from Pulwama constituency on NC ticket but was defeated by Bandh.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that NC was all set to sideline Ratanpuri for the upcoming assembly polls by fielding Bandh as its candidate from the Pulwama constituency.
Ratanpuri in his resignation letter said he had many heated arguments and altercations with party leadership and it was time to quit.
“This is to tender my resignation from Central Working Committee, primary membership and any other position that I may be holding in the J&K National Conference. Please ask the Vice President, General Secretary and the two Provincial Presidents of Kashmir and Jammu to let my exit be as quiet and dignified as my entry was.
“I hope they will forget all the heated arguments and altercations I had with them all through the past ten years regularly. I realised that the only way to stop this bitterness was to quit. I expect them too to realise that nothing was and nothing is personal.”
The differences between Ratanpuri and NC came were out in the open when he called Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani tallest leader than NC founder Sheikh Abdullah.
After his remarks, NC vice- president Omar Abdullah had denounced Ratanpuri and asked him to leave the the party.