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J&K DDC polls: Amid Congress Gupkar flip-flop, NC says seat-sharing talks off

The Congress, under attack from the BJP, had said that it was not part of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

By: Express News Service | Jammu |
Updated: November 19, 2020 12:32:52 am
Gupkar alliance: J&K land regime was most progressive in subcontinentThe NC and BJP had contested the Kargil Hill Council elections in 2018 on their own, said the BJP’s Executive Councillor, who represents the Shargole constituency.

The National Conference (NC) Wednesday suspended seat-sharing discussion with the Congress for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir, a day after the latter denied being part of the recently-floated People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

“There are no talks going on between us and the Congress on seat sharing at this point of time. Congress’ irresponsible statement is unacceptable and reflects the confusion in the mind of the party. They should clear the cobwebs in their mind and come out clearly on the issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir,’’ NC provincial president Devender Singh Rana said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that it was not part of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and that the party was not contesting the DDC elections in alliance with the PAGD. The Congress also remained ambivalent on the demand to restore Article 370.

Surjewala’s statement came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah called the PAGD the “Gupkar Gang”, and said it, along with the Congress, wanted to “take J&K back to the era of terror and turmoil”.

State Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, however, said that the party had seat-sharing arrangements “at the district level” with many parties, including the NC and PDP, which are part of the PAGD, for the DDC elections.

“It is unfortunate that the Congress having ruled Jammu and Kashmir and the country for many years is ambiguous on certain basic issues concerning polity of the country. Since 1953, the dilly-dallying by the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir has done no good to the state either,” the NC said.

The PAGD, a coalition of seven parties — including the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference and the CPI(M) — was formed last month, and is fighting the DDC polls together. Last week, the Congress joined the deliberations on seat-sharing within the alliance.

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