Banihal (J-K), Dec 24 (PTI) The PDP Monday suffered another setback when its senior leader and former bureaucrat Bashir Ahmad Runyal announced his decision to quit the party.Also Read - Ramban Encounter: 'Osama, Come Out as 15 Minutes...', Woman SSP Asks Top Hizbul Commander to Surrender | Watch Video

Runyal, a former IAS officer who was Ramban district president and state secretary of the PDP, had joined the party prior to the 2014 assembly polls after his retirement and had unsuccessfully contested the elections from Banihal constituency. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: Civilian Hostage Rescued Unharmed in Rambam's Batote, Search Operation Continues

“I have tendered my resignation from the basic membership of the party and I am fighting the upcoming assembly elections as an independent candidate,” he told reporters here. Also Read - Jammu And Kashmir: Blast in Car in Banihal; CRPF Convoy Was at Significant Distance From Site, Say Reports

Runyal was accompanied by BJP leader Showkat Javaid Daing who also announced his resignation from the basic membership of the saffron party.

“We have decided to join hands in the larger interest of the development of our area which was ignored by the previous PDP-BJP government,” he said.

Daing had also unsuccessfully contested the last assembly elections on BJP ticket from Banihal constituency which was won by Congress candidate Vikar Rasool Wani.

The BJP candidate had got over 10,000 votes. Runyal said personally he had nothing against the party leadership, but his decision to leave the PDP was under pressure from workers and the public who felt let down by the previous government. After the fall of the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government in June, the PDP faced a revolt within the party which led many of its leaders, including former ministers and legislators, quitting the party.

Prominent among those who left the party included former ministers Haseeb Drabu, Imran Reza Ansari and Syed Basharat Bukhari and former MLAs Abid Hussain Ansari and Mohammad Abbass Wani.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.