Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said that it has expelled senior party leader Altaf Bukhari for “anti-party activities”. The party on Twitter said it has been watching with concern Bukhari’s activities and has expelled him from the basic membership of the party.

Bukhari, who joined the party in 2005, won from Amira Kadal constituency in the Assembly elections in 2014. He was a minister in the coalition government headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. However, he was dropped from the cabinet after Mehbooba Mufti took over following Sayeed’s death in 2016. In February 2017, Bukhari was made the education minister. He was also allotted the finance ministry portfolio in March 2018 after Haseeb Drabu was expelled from the cabinet.

In a statement, the party said Bukhari had inspired and led dissent in the party which had damaged efforts in implementing the agenda of alliance of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government, Rising Kashmir reported.

“Ever since the passing away of our founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, he has been perusing his personal political ambition at the cost of the Party and state interest,” the party said. “While the party leadership was engaged in negotiations with its partner [BJP] and the Government of India insisting on implementing some agreed points before forming the new government, the dissension weakened its bargaining position forcing subsequent events against its will.”

The party further stated that despite the “obvious backstabbing” by Bukhari, the party leadership believed in his explanations and re-inducted him in the cabinet. “Unfortunately even after the end of coalition, Bukhari instead of pursuing party interest in accordance with the expectations of our voters and workers started open attempts at breaking the party by hobnobbing with its rivals,” the statement added.