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Sajjad Lone under pressure to end electoral pact within Gupkar alliance

Sajjad Lone  

Top leaders of the Sajjad Lone-headed People’s Conference (PC), an important constituent of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), met in Srinagar on Monday, with most leaders weighing in for the discontinuation of any electoral tie-up within the alliance.

Mr. Lone, who faced public criticism from party leaders Imran Reza Ansari and Abdul Ghani Vakil over his move to stitch an electoral alliance for the District Development Council (DDC) polls with allies, chaired the meeting. It was attended by 18 leaders, including dissenters Mr. Ansari and Mr. Vakil.

Party sources said the meeting was “necessitated by the recent statements made by PC leaders” questioning the continuation of the Gupkar alliance and was “the first meeting since the DDC polls ended” on December 19 last year.

“The leaders discussed the results of the DDC polls, the trajectory of future electoral prospects and the role of the National Conference (NC), which fielded proxy candidates against the alliance candidates (in north Kashmir),” a party leader said, on the condition of anonymity.

Sources said Mr. Lone, who is also spokesman of the Gupkar alliance, is under pressure from several party leaders, including Mr. Ansari and Mr. Vakil, over the electoral tie-up within the Gupkar alliance.

“Any such tie-up may cost us the party’s future. Mr. Lone has to decide whether he wants to sacrifice the party for the alliance. We need to seriously think about continuing the alliance,” another PC leader said.

The PC meeting is the first reflection of fissures within the Gupkar alliance, which was cobbled together by the NC’s Dr. Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti. Six parties have pledged alliance with the PAGD to “fight for restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 position” in J&K.

The PC is likely to make its position clear in the coming days on its future relation with the Gupkar alliance, sources said.

In the past one month, NC’s Basharat Bukhari and PDP’s Fayaz Mir, besides Mr. Ansari and Mr. Vakil, have questioned the continuation of the Gupkar alliance. While Mr. Bukhari sought a roadmap from the alliance, Mr. Mir doubted “sincerity within the alliance”.

The Gupkar alliance, an amalgam of six political parties, was given a formal shape on October 15, 2020.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 4:10:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sajjad-lone-under-pressure-to-end-electoral-pact-within-gupkar-alliance/article33604168.ece

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