BJP Plans Counter Strategy Against PAGD

BJP J&K President Ravinder Raina | File Photo

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina on Monday said he is meeting senior party leaders here to chalk out a “counter-strategy” against Gupkar Alliance ahead of the all-party meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on June 24.

Raina along with two senior party leaders -- former deputy chief ministers Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta -- are taking part in the scheduled meeting which will be the prime minister's first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019 when the Central government abrogated the state’s special status and bifurcated it into UTs.

The PM's meeting with the political parties from Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Centre’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding assembly elections, in the union territory.

“We have convened an emergency meeting of all prominent party leaders at Trikuta Nagar party headquarters at 11 am tomorrow (Tuesday) to chalk out the counter-strategy against Gupkar Alliance (People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration PAGD which is meeting in Srinagar around the same time to discuss Centre’s invitation),” Raina said.

The PAGD is an amalgam of six mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), formed in the aftermath of the Centre’s August 2019 decision to nullify Article 370 and split J&K into two union territories.

The leaders of eight political parties -- the NC, PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People's Conference, and the Panthers Party -- were telephonically invited by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla for participation in the meeting to be held at the prime minister's residence in the national capital at 3 pm on Thursday.

The invitees include four former chief ministers – National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

Raina said the leaders of the party from across Jammu region would discuss and deliberate all issues with focus on the strategy to be taken to counter the Gupkar Alliance which is demanding restoration of the pre August 5, 2019 position to Jammu and Kashmir.

On Sunday, PAGD spokesperson and senior CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said the meeting of the alliance is scheduled to take place on Tuesday to discuss the invitation and a united approach will be "good for the health of our society and our politics". "…there would be a commonality in our approach this way. That is what is required," he had said.

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