Srinagar: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of mainstream parties spearheading campaign for restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, on Friday held back to back meeting here to finalise candidates for the forthcoming 8-phase District Development Council (DDC) polls, slated to be held from November 28.
According to the reports, the first meeting was held on Friday morning at the Fairview residence of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti to chalk out the DDC poll strategy and finalise the names of the candidates contesting the elections.
The meeting began at 10:30 AM at Mehbooba’s residence and after Friday prayers, the second round of the meeting was held at NC headquarters in Nawa-e-Subha here.
Notably, the PAGD has recently declared the list of 27 constituencies in which candidates from three parties including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference (PC) were chosen to contest the polls on their respective party symbols.
However, the Congress party for the first time has attended the meeting of PAGD today since its formation.
Meanwhile, Awami National Conference (ANC) senior vice president, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah while divulging the details of the meeting, said that the alliance is finalizing the candidates from Kashmir Valley for all the eight phases.
Shah further stated that the meeting will continue tomorrow as well, adding that the constituents of the alliance are finalizing the candidates for the eight-phases, except the one already decided and made public.
He said the alliance will be holding the meeting tomorrow as well and will finalize the candidates by tomorrow afternoon. Shah also said that there is consensus among the alliance partners and all the constituents are unanimously deciding the candidates and seat sharing for the upcoming polls.
About polls, Shah said the political parties have done their job irrespective of tremendous pressure including threats and now it is the time for people to come out to vote and openly tell the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that they reject the decision taken by them on August 05, last year.
Pertinently, PAGD, an amalgam of top mainstream leaders unanimously decided to contest the upcoming polls in Jammu and Kashmir unitedly.
Notably, the maiden DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted in eight phases from November 28 while the counting will take place on December 22.
J&K Congress Joins People’s Alliance
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on Friday joined the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of several parties in the union territory seeking restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status.
Two Congress leaders participated in a meeting of the alliance at PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s ‘Fairview’ residence at Gupkar here.
Mufti is also the vice chairman of the alliance, led by National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah.
“We stand by the alliance,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Monga told reporters outside Mufti’s residence.
Asked whether there were any differences between the alliance partners, Monga said, “There is no disagreement and a healthy discussion took place.”
After the meeting at Mufti’s residence, the PAGD leaders will meet again at NC headquarters ‘Nawa-i-Subah’ later in the day.
NC provincial president, Kashmir, Nasir Aslam Wani, said the Congress has assured it will be part of the alliance and part of the seat-sharing arrangement for the DDC elections.
“The Congress has joined the alliance. Their leader has spoken to (Farooq) Abdullah. Two senior leaders joined the meeting also. They have assured that they will be part of the alliance and part of the DDC elections (seat-sharing arrangement) also,” Wani said.
He said the alliance “will try to complete the seat-sharing list today only”.
The meeting was called to discuss the DDC elections and to finalise the list of candidates to contest in the rest of the eight-phased polls.
“We discussed the DDC elections and are finalising the candidates. The meeting will reconvene at ‘Nawa-i-Subah’. This is not only about (seat) sharing or numbers, but a question of giving a message,” NC leader and Member of Parliament from south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi said.
The PAGD on Thursday announced the seat-sharing list for the first phase of the polls.
The NC is contesting on the majority of the 27 seats in the Kashmir Valley, with the party putting up its candidates on 21 seats. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by Mufti, is contesting on four seats, while the Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference (PC) bagged two seats for the first phase. (With PTI Inputs)
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