Members of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and others during a press conference after their meeting, at Bathindi in Jammu, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020
Members of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah and others during a press conference after their meeting, at Bathindi in Jammu, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020
PTI

People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said the Congress is part of the alliance and will contest the the DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir "together".

The PAGD -- an alliance of seven mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir seeking the restoration of the erstwhile state's special status -- announced on Saturday that it would contest the DDC polls unitedly.

"Congress party is still a part of the People's Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration and we will fight DDC elections together," Abdullah said.

His remarks came a day after the Congress announced its decision to put up candidates for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections.

Abdullah said that J-K Congress president GA Mir came to meet him today and said "we are fighting the elections together".

There was no official word from the Congress party on Abdullah's statement.

Abdullah, who was speaking to reporters at Raghunath Bazar in the heart of the city, was asked whether the Congress which was a signatory of the Gupkar declaration has separated from the alliance since it has not attended any of its meetings so far, PTI reported.

"Where have they separated? There should be no misconception. The Congress is part of the alliance and we are fighting the (DDC) elections together," the National Conference chief replied.

When his attention was drawn to Mir's statement on Saturday that his party is fighting the DDC elections and putting up candidates, the former chief minister quipped, "When you heard this yesterday was different and today Mir sahib came to meet me and said we are fighting the elections together."

Chief spokesperson of Congress Ravinder Sharma, when contacted, said Mir made a courtesy call to Abdullah and "there is no official statement on the meeting".

Earlier, J&K BJP said the DDC elections would expose the fault lines of the "artificially created" alliance.

"The upcoming DDC elections will expose the fault lines of the artificially created alliance as their cadre had always been fighting against each other and that had been their reason to exist politically," BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said in a statement on Sunday.

He said it would be difficult for workers and cadres of these political parties to work together as "it will lead to many rebels contesting elections against alliance candidates".

Sethi said the decision of PAGD to contest the DDC polls was a forgone conclusion given the "power greed of Kashmir-based political parties."

"That prompted the government to take decisions for party-based elections of DDC. Kashmir-based political parties have no principles or ideology but to grab power and that has been their single motive all along," he claimed.

He said the participation of political parties is good for democracy but people of Jammu Kashmir are now put to greater responsibility of electorally rejecting "theses Pakistani and Chinese stooges" whose statements are deliberately given to be used by "enemies of India" sitting across borders.

"It has been proved time and again that these so-called political leaders do not hesitate in making statements against the national interest and public order just for political mileage," he alleged.

(With PTI inputs)

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