Parties under Gupkar alliance to contest jointly in upcoming district development council polls
The seven political parties that are part of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) have unanimously decided to unitedly contest the upcoming district development council (DDC) elections in the Union Territory, it was announced on Saturday evening.
This would be first such electoral exercise post August 5, 2019, where the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party — the two mainstream political parties, will be contesting jointly.
The alliance’s spokesperson Sajad Ghani Lone said,“We have unanimously decided that we will fight these elections unitedly, despite the abruptness of timing. All of a sudden, they (government) sprung a surprise and are going to finish the task within a month. But this space is too sacred to be left to invaders. This is the most sacred space in democracy and we will not allow it to be marauded. We are all going to fight together,” said Lone, who was flanked by NC leader and PAGD chairperson Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief and the alliance’s vice-chairperson Mehbooba Mufti. NC vice president Omar Abdullah and CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, were also present at the briefing.
Lone said that PAGD had come to Jammu for the first time and had met many delegations from civil society: “We are extremely happy that we found same sentiment here vis-à-vis abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A. We met delegations of Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits, Gadi and Sippis, Gujjars and Bakerswals, transporters, SCs, OBCs , farmers and different political parties. We can tell you that all of them are facing grave problems. What we found common in our thinking and their thinking was that they are also appalled, unhappy and hurt by the August 5 decision,” said Lone.
He said PAGD said it will continue the outreach process. However, Farooq and Mehbooba did not respond to queries on women rights, Valmikis and West Pakistan Refugees.