New Delhi: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday expelled former minister Altaf Bukhari for his ‘anti-party activities’, news agency ANI reported. A statement was also released by the party on the micro-blogging site Twitter. Also Read - Entire Jammu and Kashmir Has Been Converted Into a Jail: Mehbooba Mufti Slams Centre

“Party today expelled Altaf Bukhari from the party for his anti-party activities. Party has been watching with concern the activities of Altaf Bukhari for quite some time and thereby stands expelled from the basic membership of the party,” the tweet read. Also Read - Terror-funding Case: NIA Continues Raids in Srinagar And Delhi; NGOs And Trusts Searched

In spite of this obvious backstabbing and subversion of people’s interest, the party leadership believed in subsequent explanations and assurances of Bukhari and reposed complete trust in him by reinducting him in the cabinet, the PDP statement further read.

Bukhari won his maiden assembly election from Amira Kadal in 2014 and was a minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He was, however, dropped from the cabinet by Mehbooba when she took over after Sayeed’s death in 2016.

Bukhari was then made minister for Education in February 2017 and went on to become the finance minister of the state after Haseeb Drabu was expelled from the cabinet following his controversial remarks on Kashmir.

Last year, J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had dissolved the state Assembly after Peoples’ Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a government along with the support of her arch-rival Omar Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) and the Congress. They had claimed the support of 56 lawmakers in the 87-member state assembly.  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 29 MLAs in the 87-member house. The National Conference has a strength of 15 MLAs and the Congress 12.

The dissolution paves the way for fresh elections in the state amid speculation that it could be held with the Lok Sabha polls. The state assembly’s tenure was till October 2020.

(With agency inputs)