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Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference pulls out of Gupkar alliance

Sajad Lone said there had been a breach of trust between the partners, which “is beyond remedy”. File Photo.  

Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference (PC) on Tuesday pulled out of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a grouping of six Jammu and Kashmir regional parties fighting for the pre-August 5, 2019 position, saying “no party was willing to sacrifice”.

“This alliance needed sacrifice. Every party had to sacrifice on the ground in terms of giving space to fellow allies. No party is willing to cede space, no party is willing to sacrifice. We fought against each other in Kashmir province and not against the perpetrators of August 5. And those who perpetrated August 5 and their minions are now vocally gleeful,” wrote Mr. Lone, in a letter addressed to the Gupkar alliance chairman Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who is also the president of the National Conference (NC).

 

He said there had been a breach of trust between the partners, which “is beyond remedy”. “The majoritarian view in our party is that we should pull out of the alliance in an amicable manner rather than waiting for things to get messier. We will no longer be a part of the alliance.”

No meeting after polls

Of late, PC leaders have publicly raised the issue of alliance partners fielding proxy candidates during the recently concluded District Development Council (DDC) elections. The fissures were already coming to the fore with the Gupkar alliance failing to hold any meeting since its grand success in the DDC polls, which put them in the driving seat in most districts of the Valley.

Mr. Lone, however, said his party would continue to adhere to the objectives of which the alliance was made.

“We convened a meeting of our leaders yesterday. The predominant feeling was that the PAGD sentiment at top was not emulated on the ground. It was felt that the results of a sincere alliance should have meant that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Instead, the whole was not greater than the sum of parts, sadly not even equal to the sum of parts, but much lesser and equal to just one part of the many parts,” the letter said.

Vote share

Mr. Lone stated that they may have won the maximum number of seats but the votes polled against the PAGD were majorly the votes cast by proxies of the PAGD constituents. “And the net outcome of selectively voting for and against the PAGD is a very poor vote share. This is certainly not the vote share that people of J&K deserved post August 5.”

The trust between the allying partners who have been rivals all along could be very elusive and extremely fragile. “Proxies have made it perpetually elusive,” he added.

This is the first major party pulling out of the alliance, which posed a major challenge to the BJP’s poll prospects in J&K. The Congress has already stated that its alliance is only electoral rather than ideological.

NC leader and MP Hasnain Masoodi said that in a democracy, everyone had the right to stay in any alliance or pull out of that at his will. “If Mr. Lone thinks it was a right decision to pull out of the alliance so be it. However, this is not a setback to the alliance.”

Tarigami’s plea

CPI(M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami asked Mr. Lone to revisit the decision. “This is very sad and unfortunate. I want Mr. Lone to rethink over the decision and Dr. Abdullah to take a view of all concerns so that the forward journey is smooth,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 9:15:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sajad-lones-peoples-conference-pulls-out-of-gupkar-alliance/article33610774.ece

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