Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, met with much resistance, termed the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a conglomerate of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, an "unholy global alliance" and alleged that it, along with the Congress, wants to take Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) back to the era of terror and turmoil.
Both the former chief ministers of the erstwhile state of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, hit back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his 'Gupkar Gang' remarks.
Mehbooba said that such comments were aimed at diverting people's attention from rising unemployment and inflation.
"BJP's stale tactic of dividing India by projecting themselves as saviours and political opponents as internal and imagined enemies is far too predictable now," said the chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
BJPs stale tactic of dividing India by projecting themselves as saviours & political opponents as internal & imagined enemies is far too predictable now. Love jihad, tukde tukde & now Gupkar Gang dominates the political discourse instead of like rising unemployment & inflation— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 17, 2020
Fighting elections in an alliance is also anti-national now. BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) November 17, 2020
On the other hand, Omar Abdullah spotted "frustration" behind the Home Minister's statements and said that it was due to the inability of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) getting a "free run" in J&K.
"I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon’ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People’s Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP & newly formed King’s party a free run in J&K. We didn’t oblige them," wrote Omar Abdullah from his official Twitter handle.
I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon’ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People’s Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP & newly formed King’s party a free run in J&K. We didn’t oblige them. https://t.co/OrLBPAIFVn— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) November 17, 2020
In a series of tweets, Shah alleged that the "Gupkar Gang is going global" and wants foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir.
The conglomerate of regional and national political parties in Jammu and Kashmir was formed defending the restoration of the Article 370, scrapped last year.
"Congress and the Gupkar Gang want to take J&K back to the era of terror and turmoil. They want to take away the rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they're being rejected by the people everywhere," he said.
Shah said Jammu and Kashmir has been, is, and will always remain an integral part of India and the people of the country will no longer tolerate an unholy 'global gathbandhan' against India's national interest.
"Either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it," he said.
The home minister also questioned Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi whether they support the PAGD.
"The Gupkar Gang also insults India's Tricolour. Do Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji support such moves of the Gupkar Gang? They should make their stand crystal clear to the people of India," he said.
Congress and the Gupkar Gang want to take J&K back to the era of terror and turmoil. They want to take away rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 17, 2020
On August 4, 2019, a day before the central government announced the abrogation of the Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, political parties in Kashmir, except the BJP, met at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah at Gupkar Road in Srinagar.
They had also issued a joint statement defending Article 370.
The constituents of the conglomerate include the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, CPI-M, Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference and Awami National Conference.
The Congress recently announced that it will have a seat sharing arrangement with the PAGD for the forthcoming elections to the District Development Council in Jammu and Kashmir.
National Conference's Farooq Abdullah is its chairman and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti vice-chairperson. Veteran CPI-M leader M Y Tarigami is its convenor while People's Conference leader Sajjad Gani Lone is the spokesperson.
(With agency inputs)
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