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Thursday, December 03, 2020

‘Fighting elections in alliance also anti-national now?’: Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdullah hit back at Amit Shah over ‘Gupkar gang’ jibe

"BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front," Mufti said in a tweet.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 17, 2020 10:16:27 pm
The signatories of the Gupkar Declaration have joined forces as the ‘People Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’ to challenge the changes brought in J&K on August 5, 2019. (Express Photo)

Taking exception to Amit Shah calling the alliance of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Gupkar Gang’, former chief ministers of the erstwhile state, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, hit back at the Union Home minister, saying the BJP can stitch as many alliances “in its hunger for power” but “we are undermining national interest”.

In a series of tweets, Shah alleged that the Congress party and the ‘Gupkar Gang’ want to take Jammu and Kashmir 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 tweeted.

Mehbooba Mufti, in her response, said, “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.”

Mufti also said that Shah’s attempt is just to project the Gupkar alliance as “anti-nationals” after BJP’s ‘tukde tukde gang’ narrative. “Old habits die hard. Earlier BJPs narrative was that the tukde tukde gang threatened India’s sovereignty & they are now using ‘Gupkar Gang’ euphemism to project us as anti-nationals,” the PDP leader said.

Terming it as a stale and predictable tactic, Mufti further said that the BJP projects themselves as “saviours” and political opponents as “internal and imagined enemies”. “Love jihad, tukde tukde and now Gupkar Gang dominates the political discourse instead of rising unemployment and inflation,” she added.

Apart from Mufti, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also targeted the BJP saying that only in J&K can leaders be detained and called anti-national for participating in elections supporting the democratic process.

Read | BJP slams Congress for joining Gupkar alliance, asks if it wants Article 370 restored

“We are not a “gang” Amit Shah ji, we are a legitimate political alliance having fought and continuing to fight elections, much to your disappointment,” Abdullah said in a tweet.

“The truth is all those who oppose the ideology of the BJP are labelled corrupt & anti-national,” he added.

Mufti’s rebuttal came after the Home minister termed an alliance of political parties of the Union Territory as “Gupkar Gang”.

Shah also targeted Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying they support the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a conglomerate of regional and national political parties in Jammu and Kashmir formed to demand the restoration of the Article 370, scrapped last year.

The Congress, meanwhile, has asserted that it is not a part of the Gupkar alliance and was contesting the district development council elections in Jammu and Kashmir to “expose” the BJP through democratic means.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a statement that the party was against any foreign intervention in the internal affairs of India, including in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Congress party is not part of the ‘Gupkar Alliance’ or the ‘People’s Association for Gupkar Declaration’,” he said in a statement.

The Congress on Friday formally joined deliberations for seat-sharing among members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) as the group met to discuss the eight-phase District Development Council (DDC) elections.

Local Congress leaders in J-K have maintained that they are not part of the Gupkar Alliance and are only going for a seat-sharing arrangement for the DDC polls.

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