NC-PDP, other PAGD allies to unitedly contest DDC polls

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Jammu, November 7: In an unusual decision involving arch political rivals deciding to share even their common political space, the member of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration on Saturday declared to unitedly contest the District Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This space is too too sacred to be left to invaders to invade…We will not allow it to be molested…We will keep it for future generations,’’ said PAGD spokesperson Sajad Lone said in support of their decision to contest the DDC elections. The NC-PDP had in 2018 stayed away from Panchayat elections.

He said that the decision was taken by them after ascertaining the views of their ground level workers in Jammu, adding that they had already taken the views of their workers in Kashmir.

“All the delegations meeting us here in Jammu had the sentiments similar to the people in Kashmir” about happenings of August 5, 2019, Lone said, adding that all of them are facing grave problems, economic and administrative problems. “Apart from that the common thread between their thinking and out thinking was that they all were unhappy and hurt over the decisions of August 5. Like we are hurt there, they are hurt here, he said, adding “We will continue this process”.

Meanwhile Congress, who also announced to participate in the DDC elections, will go to polls alone. “We have so far decided to contest the coming elections,” Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir said, adding “to avoid division of votes to the advantage of communal forces, our district units will decide on adjustment on candidate to candidate basis on the basis of situation on ground”.

The PAGD meeting in Jammu assumes significance as it not only marked the sharing of  common political space by arch political rivals  NC and PDP between themselves in Kashmir, but also sent a clear message that they have a significant mass base in predominantly Hindu inhabited Jammu region as well. This was evident with an over 40 delegations from cross sections of society visiting Farooq Abdullah’s Bhatindi residence to meet the PAGD members. They included Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits, Gaddis and Sippis, Gujjars and Bakerwals, transports, Valmiki Samaj, scheduled castes and different political parties. The meeting was  convened by Farooq Abdullah at his Bhatindi residence.

Members of Bajrang Dal and IkkJutt Jammu held demonstration at Bhatindi Morh, nearly two kms away from Farooq Abdullah’s residence in protest against Gupkar declaration. 

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is going to first ever DDC elections on party basis in eight phases beginning November 28. The last phase of polling is scheduled to take place on December 19. Anybody who had been ordinarily residing here for past six months will be eligible to vote irrespective of one’s being a domicile or not.