Congress not part of Gupkar alliance: Surjewala


New Delhi, November 17: Congress on Tuesday denied that it was part of the Gupkar alliance, saying it was contesting the district development council elections in Jammu and Kashmir to “expose” the BJP through democratic means.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a statement that the party was against any foreign intervention in the internal affairs of India, including in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Congress party is not part of the ‘Gupkar Alliance’ or the ‘People’s Association for Gupkar Declaration’,” he said in a statement.

Surjewala accused Home Minister Amit Shah and other ministers of the Modi government of making “mischievous” statements and trying to push a “fake narrative” by making baseless assertions on Jammu and Kashmir.

His reaction came after the BJP targeted the Congress, saying it should make clear if it agrees with the “anti-national” views of the NC and the PDP.

Shah on Tuesday said the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) is an “unholy global alliance” that along with the Congress wants to return to the era of terror and turmoil.

The PAGD which has several Jammu and Kashmir parties as its constituents is pressing for restoration of J-K’s special status and statehood.

Local Congress leaders in J-K have maintained that they are not part of the Gupkar Alliance and are only going for a seat-sharing arrangement for the DDC polls, Surjewala said, adding the Congress leadership has written the tradition of sacrifice for the country with its blood and it does not need lessons on nationalism or sacrifice from the BJP.

“The Congress party will never accept that the identity, integrity or tricolor of the nation will be put to any harm. Nor has the Congress accepted nor will it accept any foreign interference in the internal affairs of India including Jammu and Kashmir. The glorious history of India for 70 years is a witness to this resolve of the Congress,” he said.

“Maybe Amit Shah and the Modi government need a new lesson on nationalism because their parental organisation, RSS, did not hoist the tricolour for 52 years after independence at its headquarters,” he alleged.

Surjewala said the BJP is criticising the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP without realising that they had shared power with them in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Congress leader also asked Shah who was responsible for the release of Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar, released along with two others in exchange for the passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in Kandahar in December 1999.

“The BJP is trying to spread lies and create illusions and this has become the face and character of the Modi government,” Surjewala alleged.