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Candidates of PAGD members to fight poll on party symbols, says Farooq Abdullah

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Kathua: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) chairperson Farooq Abdullah on Monday said candidates of the amalgam’s constituents will fight the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir on their own party symbols.

“The PAGD had decided that we all fight the DDC elections together but a single symbol cannot be granted so we will fight the elections on our party symbols and put up joint candidates of all parties,” senior NC leader Abdullah told reporters at Lakhanpur here.

Asked about his reaction to the BJP using the term ‘Gupkar Gang’ for the PAGD leadership, Abdullah, without taking any names, said, “We are not any gang. We are an amalgam of all (opposition) parties and those who are dubbing us as a gang are in fact dacoits and that is why they are seeing us as a gang.”

The NC leader also said he wanted to make it clear that “we (PAGD) are not the enemies of the nation”.

Abdullah said they accept Mahatma Gandhi’s India where all people, irrespective of their faith, are equal and every one whether from Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu or anywhere else are treated equally.

“We are not the enemies of the nation but yes we are the enemies of the BJP. They are working on an agenda to divide Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians,” he said.

Those indulging in propaganda, “I will shut their mouth after the (DDC) elections,” the PAGD chairperson said.

Responding to another question, he said, “When it comes to India and the need to speak for it, who was there in Geneva and the UN. He was Farooq Abdullah who protected the honour of the country.”

“They don’t see this, and even don’t remember the words of (former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee when we returned from Geneva,” Abdullah said.

He said all the delegations, which met the PAGD leadership in Jammu on Saturday, had serious concern about the new land laws which allow outsiders to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir.

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