Srinagar, Nov 2: The Congress Party in Jammu and Kashmir has been caught between the devil and the deep sea as the leaders are divided over joining the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) led by National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah.
Sources told Precious Kashmir that Congress leaders in the Valley are of the opinion that the party should join the Kashmir based parties that have forged an alliance to strive to get August 4, 2019 position back. However, the Congress high command has remained has not made its stand clear over the issue till date.
It’s in place to mention here that on October 24 this year seven mainstream political parties of had met at PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s residence in Srinagar and had given a formal shape to their alliance – People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD)- for the restoration of Article 370.
Prior to that on October 15 this year, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah announced People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration after an all-party meet at his residence in Srinagar.
The motive behind the alliance, that includes National Conference (NC), PDP, CPI, CPM, PC, JKPM & ANC, is to work towards restoring the special status of J&K after it was revoked in 2019.
NC chief Farooq Abdullah was elected as its chairman and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti as vice-chairperson. CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami was elected as the convenor while Lok Sabha member from South Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi the coordinator of the conglomerate and Sajad Gani Lone of People’s Conference was appointed as the spokesman for the amalgam.
The J&K Congress leaders had skipped all these meetings despite the party being signatory to Gupkar Declaration which was signed on August 4, 2019, a day before the Union government announced the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two union territories, J&K and Ladakh.
A politician said, “The Congress party is in a dilemma. If it joins the alliance in Kashmir it may prove detrimental for the party at the national level but if it stays away the party may witness a split in the Valley.”
He said, “The Congress Party by maintaining distance from the PAGD has indicated that it has accepted the change in J&K’s status, but few of its leaders are keen on joining the Kashmir based parties to remain relevant in the Valley.”
Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir had said that the Congress is a national party and the final call about joining the PAGD has to be taken by the party high command and “such decisions cannot be taken at a local level.”
He had stated that there is a need for a common platform to fight for the rights of the people of the erstwhile J&K State.