No final decision yet on contesting J&K polls, says National Conference chief

Farooq Abdullah plays down the resolution passed by the National Conference that the party will go it alone in the polls rather than fight as part of the Gupkar alliance

August 25, 2022 10:30 pm | Updated 10:30 pm IST - SRINAGAR

NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

NC chief Farooq Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti. | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday were seen firefighting to save the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of four parties that has been demanding restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 position of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The office of the PAGD will never be closed. A final decision regarding the things [fighting elections together] will be taken only after elections are announced and depending upon the situation. As of now, nothing can be said,” Dr. Abdullah said.

Dr. Abdullah’s statement comes just a day after NC vice-president Omar Abdullah headed a meeting of the party’s provincial committee that passed a unanimous resolution “to contest elections on all 90 seats in the Union Territory (UT) alone”. The move has the potential to break the three-year-old alliance.

Referring to his party’s resolution on Wednesday, Farooq Abdullah said, “A democratic party can pass any resolution but the final decision will be taken only after elections are announced in J&K. If you cannot be courageous, you cannot do anything good for the people. Besides, there is a need to keep ourselves ready for the sacrifices.”

The NC and the PDP are the two main constituents of the Gupkar alliance, besides the Awami National Conference and the CPI(M).

Ms. Mufti played down the resolution passed by the NC on elections. “The PAGD has come into existence for a big cause. Election or election pact is not an issue. If any partner has reservation regarding poll pact, it will not impact our unity. We will continue our struggle together so that all that was snatched is returned. The people’s aspiration is that we should fight elections together but it’s not the main issue,” Ms. Mufti said.

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