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PAGD struggles to finalise 7th list of DDC candidates over issue of ‘proxy candidates’

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Vote will go to PAGD candidates, don’t know anything about proxy candidates: Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has failed to release the 7th list of candidates for ongoing District Development Council (DDC) polls “due to lack of consensus” among its constituent parties.

Sources informed that despite days of hectic and tough deliberations and negotiations, the constituents of the PAGD have failed to reach consensus on seat-sharing.

The first-ever DDC polls, along with by-elections for vacant Panchayat and Urban Local Body (ULB) seats are being held in eight phases in J&K. The last phase of polls would be held on December 19 and counting would take place on December 22.

These elections are the first major political activity and electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir since August 05 last year, when Centre abrogated Articles 370 and 35-A and bifurcated J&K State into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature), and Ladakh (without legislature).

Sources revealed that reports of some proxy candidates being supported by senior leaders in their respective areas has become a major issue in finalizing the third list.

However, the PAGD leadership negated the reports of any fissures in the alliance and said a third list would be shared in coming days.

News agency KNS quoted PAGD president Dr Farooq Abdullah as saying that “only the alliance candidates will get a vote; we have nothing to do with proxy candidates.”

Earlier also reports of fissures within the alliance was reported in a section of press after the release of the first list of candidates. Later a meeting of the amalgam was chaired by Dr Farooq Abdullah to sort out the issue.

In a tweet, PAGD vice-chairman Mehbooba Mufti clarified: “We have a bigger cause to fight for than bicker over DDC elections. PAGD was formed solely to safeguard the identity of people of J&K that’s been under constant attack since Aug 2019. To assume it was created for petty electoral gains or to further party interests is erroneous. We have a bigger cause to fight for than bicker over DDC elections.”

Peoples Conference chief Sajjad Gani Lone seconded it. “I agree with every word and would further add that the reality as it exists is that statesmanship and magnanimity is still a missing trait in our polity. And the absence is being felt more than any other time,” he said. (With KNS inputs)

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