End of Gupkar Alliance? NC Hints At Going Alone In Polls

Party’s provincial committee resolves to contest all 90 seats; Denounces PAGD constituents for ‘unfair treatment’

Srinagar- In a major setback to the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), National Conference on Wednesday hinted at contesting polls on all the 90 assembly constituencies as and when the elections in Jammu and Kashmir are held.

This is contrary to its earlier stand that the coalition will have a pre-poll alliance.

The provincial committee members unanimously resolved that the National Conference should prepare and fight all 90 assembly seats, a party spokesperson said.

The resolution was passed in a provincial committee meeting held at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha, here on Wednesday. Party vice president Omar Abdullah, General Secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar and other senior party leaders and functionaries attended the meeting.

“The participants present in the meeting expressed dismay over the recent statements, audio jingles and speeches made by some of the constituents of the PAGD targeting JKNC,” the spokesperson said.

“They felt that it does not contribute to the overall unity of the amalgam. They denounced the unfair treatment meted out to JKNC in PAGD. The participants demanded immediate course correction from PAGD constituents,” he added.

During the hours-long meeting, the spokesperson said that the functionaries gave their appraisal about the current political situation in their respective areas.

The meeting, he said, was also marked by threadbare discussions on party affairs and the recent press conference of CEO about the inclusion of new voters.

Omar, as per the spokesperson said the entire matter begs clarity from the Election Commission of India.

“All this has triggered fears of demographic flooding and political disempowerment within the public. We are yet to ascertain if the final electoral rolls are also to include those ordinarily residing voters. Our concerns with regards to requirements for outsiders to get registered continue to remain unmet. The clarity provided by government quarters has failed to address our core concerns on the issue,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, the party Vice President Omar Abdullah in his response acknowledged the concerns raised by the participants and reiterated that the interest of the people of J&K and JKNC will be safeguarded.

Omar, he said, also stated that people of Jammu and Kashmir are best equipped to “defeat these nefarious designs” by voting in huge numbers in the forthcoming elections, whenever it’s held.

“The remedy lies with our people, who if they choose to vote in huge numbers can thwart these attempts aimed at disempowering the people of J&K. Therefore people have to make it a point to come out and vote in huge numbers,” the NC Vice President said.

Omar, according to the spokesperson, further said that he will discuss the feedback from the meeting with the party president Dr Farooq Abdullah.

The development has come a month after PAGD constituents announced that they will contest elections together whenever held.
Speaking to the media, both NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti had asserted that PAGD will contest elections together.

“I am foreseeing good times for J&K ahead. God will take us out of these difficulties. Our path should be correct. Democracy will continue. We will protect the Constitution on which we have taken the oath. If they can conduct elections during floods, why can’t they do it now? PAGD will fight the elections together”, Dr Abdullah had said.

Mufti had also asserted that the Gupkar Alliance intended to contest polls together as “it is the will of the people that we should strive together for the restoration of our lost dignity”.

PAGD REACTS

Soon after NC denounced what it termed as unfair treatment meted out to the party in the alliance, the PAGD on Wednesday said that there was no question of side-lining or ignoring anyone in the amalgam.

Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami, spokesman of PAGD said that the conglomerate is headed by NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah and “our agenda is based on the declaration adopted by political parties on August 04, 2019. The declaration is clearly stating that we will stand together in defence of the rights of people of J&K that is what PAGD has been talking about and that is the purpose of staying together.”

“As of today, there is no question of side-lining, ignoring or anything. PAGD is a broad-based platform and we are together on the agenda which we have formulated together. Regarding elections, as and when elections are announced, we will talk together and we will decide,” he said.

Our issues are much more important than elections. The issue is the rights of people of Dogra’s, Kashmiris and others, he said.

PDP spokesman, Najam-us-Saqib when contacted, said that the motive behind forming PAGD is to protect the rights of the people and strive for the aspirations of the people. “It is a larger fight where all the political parties have resolved to keep their personal party differences and come together for a larger cause. We stand by that,” he said. – (With inputs from agencies)

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