Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 7
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) today said it would contest the upcoming District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir and would not let the democratic space be “marauded by divisive forces”.
The seven-party alliance, led by NC chief Farooq Abdullah, took the decision after a crucial first meeting in Jammu, where members of the amalgam met around 30 separate delegations on a set of listed agenda, including the DDC polls.
Alliance spokesperson and People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone said a delegation of Sikh leaders met the PAGD this morning after which members of the Kashmiri Hindu migrant community, Gaddi and Sippi communities also met with the alliance partners.
Prof Bhim Singh of the National Panthers Party was also among those who held discussions with the PAGD, which has announced a struggle for the restoration of Article 370 in the state apart from restoration of J&K’s statehood.
The PAGD leaders unanimously agreed to participate in DDC polls with Lone saying, “The PAGD unanimously decided to fight the DDC elections unitedly. Despite the abruptness in terms of the timing it is important that this sacred space in democracy is not allowed to be invaded and marauded by divisive forces.”
The eight-phase DDC elections apart from polls to fill vacant posts of sarpanch and panch are scheduled from December 1 to December 24.
The PAGD meeting in Jammu was chaired by Farooq Abdullah and attended by alliance vice-chairperson Mehbooba Mufti, NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, CPM’s MY Tarigami, Awami National Conference’s senior vice-president Muzaffar Shah and People’s Movement’s Javed Mir.
The alliance has authorized Farooq Abdullah to release the list of candidates for the DDC polls.