J&K Congress joins hands with PAGD
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) on Friday joined the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of several parties in the union territory seeking restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status.
Two Congress leaders participated in a meeting of the alliance at PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s ‘Fairview’ residence at Gupkar here.
Mufti is also the vice-chairman of the alliance, led by National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah.
“We stand by the alliance,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Monga told reporters outside Mufti’s residence.
Asked whether there were any differences between the alliance partners, Monga said “there is no disagreement and a healthy discussion took place.”
After the meeting at Mufti’s residence, the PAGD leaders were to meet again at NC headquarters ‘Nawa-i-Subah’ later in the day.
NC provincial president, Kashmir, Nasir Aslam Wani, said the Congress has assured it will be part of the alliance and part of the seat-sharing arrangement for the DDC elections.
“The Congress has joined the alliance. Their leader has spoken to (Farooq) Abdullah. Two senior leaders joined the meeting also. They have assured that they will be part of the alliance and part of the DDC elections (seat-sharing arrangement) also,” Wani said.
He said the alliance “will try to complete the seat-sharing list today only”.
The meeting was called to discuss the DDC elections and to finalise the list of candidates to contest in the rest of the eight-phased polls.
“We discussed the DDC elections and are finalising the candidates. The meeting will reconvene at ‘Nawa-i-Subah’. This is not only about (seat) sharing or numbers, but a question of giving a message,” NC leader and Member of Parliament from south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Justice (retd.) Hasnain Masoodi said.
The PAGD on Thursday announced the seat-sharing list for the first phase of the polls.
The NC is contesting on the majority of the 27 seats in the Kashmir Valley, with the party putting up its candidates on 21 seats. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by Mufti, is contesting on four seats, while the Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference (PC) bagged two seats for the first phase.