Srinagar, Nov 9: Congress joining the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) and agreeing to contest the forthcoming District Development Commission elections in Jammu and Kashmir in an alliance is a surprise development.
It may be recalled on Sunday National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, who also heads the PAGD, announced that Congress is not contesting the DDC polls alone and it’s a part of the PAGD.
An analyst while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “After staying away from the meetings held by the PAGD the Congress Party seems to have finally realized that going alone into the DDC elections won’t help its cause. It appears that the local Congress leaders have prevailed upon the party high command to let them join PAGD.”
He said, “The confusion has been prevalent in the rank and file of the Congress Party since the day it was ousted from power in Jammu and Kashmir. The party despite sharing power for twelve consecutive years first with Peoples Democratic Party from 2002 to 2008 and then with National Conference from 2009 to 2014 has not been able to strengthen its base in Kashmir.”
The analyst said, “The Congress has already lost its citadel— Jammu— to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has been struggling to find its foothold in the region. Many former Congress ministers have already changed their sides and have joined the saffron camp. At this point of time the Congress Party is facing a very difficult situation in Jammu and Kashmir and it needs allies to make its presence felt on the ground.”
An observer said that the absence of the former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is hurting the Congress Party very badly. “Azad could have managed the entire show in Jammu and Kashmir as he is a veteran leader and enjoys very cordial relations with most of the politicians in J&K.”
It may be recalled that Azad was dropped from the list of national office bearers of the Congress Party after he and 20 other senior party leaders had demanded change in the leadership of the “Grand Old Party.”
The observer said, “After Azad’s removal his loyalists in J&K have gone into oblivion. Even Azad has maintained complete silence and has not shown any inclination towards joining the renewed political process in Jammu and Kashmir.”
He said, “At present the Congress Party in J&K is on a weak wicket. It seems the decision to join PAGD has been taken with a hope that it may lead to the revival of the party in the Valley.”