Under attack from BJP, Cong caught at crossroads in J-K DDC polls

The PAGD was floated on October 7 for the reversal of constitutional changes made to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.

New Delhi: The Congress said on Tuesday that it’s not part of the Gupkar alliance, but is contesting the district development council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir with some arrangements with few political parties.

Ghulam Ahmad Mir, the President of the J&K unit of the Congress, refused to comment on the issue and said that chief party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala’s statement on the matter was final. When asked if the party was still in an alliance with the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), he did not give any answer.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said, “We have seat sharing agreements with some parties to save the democratic values. The BJP is calling the PDP and the NC anti-national. If they are anti-national, why did the BJP went into an alliance with the PDP and form the government in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir? The Congress doesn’t need lessons of nationalism from the BJP.”

On Tuesday, the Congress had said in a statement that it was not a part of the Gupkar alliance, claiming that it had nothing to do with the PAGD. The party also clarified that it did not hold any meeting with the PAGD.

On Wednesday, the party launched a tirade of attack on the BJP and termed it as ‘Gappukar BJP’. “Time and again, the BJP has proved to be all talk but no action. Anti-national forces thrive under their nose even as they spread the false rhetoric of being the “protectors” of nationalism,” the Congress said.

The war of wards between the Congress and the BJP intensified after Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the PAGD, saying “either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it”.

The PAGD’s first list of 17 candidates did have Congress candidates. The second list of 27 candidates, announced on November 15, too had three Congress names. On Tuesday, it released the list of seats allocated to the parties for the third phase of DDC polling to be held in eight phases beginning November 28.

Out of the list of 16 segments for the third phase of elections, the NC is fighting on six segments, PDP on eight, JKPC on one and ANC on one.

Earlier, the PAGD had announced that it has unanimously decided to fight the DDC elections unitedly.

The PAGD was floated on October 7 for the reversal of constitutional changes made to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah was appointed the President of the alliance, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti its Vice President, People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone the spokesperson and CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami its convenor. The flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir has been adopted as the symbol of the alliance.

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