Over the last year, the political and administrative map of Jammu and Kashmir has changed greatly. Beginning with the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, there have been a series of changes - from splitting the erstwhile state into two union territories to detaining major political players for months on end. More recently several changes were made to land ownership laws in the Union Territory.
These changes have not gone down well many of the political leaders in the area. At the time of the revocation of Article 370 however, a large number of these leaders had been detained. While some were released earlier this year, others such as PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti have only recently been released. Since then, many of these parties have banded together to create the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration - a coalition consisting of the signatories of the Gupkar Declaration.
The alliance which has National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah as the president and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti as the vice-president also includes several other parties. The alliance included National Conference (NC), PDP, CPI(M), PC, JKPM and ANC. The motive behind this alliance is to work towards restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir after it was revoked in 2019.
Since then, the newly formed alliance has come under criticism from numerous BJP leaders. The Congress too has been pulled into the debate. While the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress had recently said that it was not yet part of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, this has not stopped the criticism. The Congress had said on Saturday that it was in consultation with 'like-minded parties' for seat adjustments for the upcoming District Development Council elections in J&K.
Since then, several BJP leaders including Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad have urged the party to clarify their stance when it comes to the alliance and the recent comments made by its leaders.
Now, Home Minister Amit Shah has lent his voice to the clamour, urging Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to clarify whether they were in support of the "Gupkar Gang".
"The Gupkar Gang is going global! They want foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir. 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," Shah tweeted.
In a follow-up post,, he alleged that the Congress and the "Gupkar Gang wanted to take Jammu and Kashmir 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," he wrote.
"Indian people will no longer tolerate an unholy ‘global gathbandhan’ against our national interest. Either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it," he added in another tweet.