NEW DELHI: Mainstream parties of
Jammu and Kashmir
on Saturday met at PDP chief
's residence in Srinagar and gave a formal shape to their recently cobbled alliance -
(PAGD)- for the restoration of
After a meeting, NC leader
said the alliance is fighting for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and is an "anti-BJP platform" and not an anti-national amalgam.
What is People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration?
On October 15, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah announced People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration after an all-party meet at his residence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The motive behind the alliance, that includes National Conference (NC), PDP, CPM, PC, JKPM & ANC, is to work towards restoring the special status of J&K after it was revoked in 2019.
On Saturday, National Conference's Farooq Abdullah was elected as its chairman and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti as vice-chairperson. Veteran CPM leader M Y Tarigami was elected as the convenor while Lok Sabha member from South Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi would be the coordinator of the conglomerate known as People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.
Sajjad Gani Lone of People's Conference would be the spokesman for the amalgam.
What is Gupkar Declaration?
On August 4, 2019, a day before the Union government announced the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, political parties in Kashmir, except the BJP, met at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah at Gupkar Road in Srinagar. They issued a joint statement later on defending Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Since then, the joint statement is known as the 'Gupkar Declaration'.
However, a day after this, the Central government revoked the special status of the erstwhile state and bifurcated it into two Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and
A year after the abrogation of Article 370, leaders from the six political parties once again met and signed the Gupkar Declaration and resolved to adhere to the 2019 declaration.
"We want the government of India to return to the people of the state the rights they had before August 5, 2019," Farooq Abdullah said on October 15 while announcing the formation of the alliance.
He said it is a constitutional battle to resolve the political problem of Jammu and Kashmir in a peaceful manner through dialogue. "We want the political issue of the state to be resolved as quickly as possible through dialogue in a peaceful manner with all the stakeholders involved in this problem."
Giving shape to alliance
At Saturday's meeting, the alliance was given a formal structure with Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti declared as president and vice-president of the group.
The amalgam, which met for the first time after its formation, will come out with a white paper within one month on governance in Jammu and Kashmir over the past one year since the abrogation of article 370.
As a mark of defiance to the constitutional changes made by the Centre with respect to Jammu and Kashmir last year, the alliance adopted the flag of the erstwhile state as its symbol.
The amalgam decided to hold its next meeting after a fortnight in Jammu, followed by a convention in Srinagar on November 17.
What the amalgam said?
After a meeting, Farooq Abdullah said the alliance is fighting for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and is an "anti-BJP platform" and not an anti-national amalgam.
"I want to tell you that this is false propaganda by the BJP that the PAGD is anti-national. I want to tell them that this is not true. There is no doubt that it is anti-BJP, but it is not anti-national," he told reporters.
Abdullah alleged that the BJP has tried to break the federal structure through acts like the abrogation of Article 370 and dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.
"I want to tell them that this (PAGD) is not an anti-national jamaat. Our aim is that the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh should get their rights back. That's where our battle is. Our battle is not for more than that," he said.
Abdullah said the BJP was doing propaganda against the constituents of the PAGD in Jammu and elsewhere in the country.