Fri, 26 Feb 2021

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 20 (ANI): Peoples Conference, which is headed by Sajad Gani Lone, has pulled out of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Tuesday.

Several parties, including the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference and CPI(M), formed the PAGD to contest District Development Council (DDC) elections together and for the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a letter to National Conference chief and PAGD president Dr Farooq Abdullah, Lone said the party decided to part ways over the issue of fielding proxy candidates by constituent parties against the officially mandated candidates of the alliance during DDC polls.

"The alliance needed sacrifice. No party is willing to cede space; no party is willing to sacrifice. We fought against each other in Kashmir province not against the perpetrators of August 5 (2019). And those who perpetrated August 5 and their minions are now vocally gleeful. It is difficult for us to stay on and pretend as if nothing has happened," Lone wrote.

"Trust between allying partners who have been rivals all along can be very elusive and extremely fragile. Proxies have made it perpetually elusive," he said.

Lone alleged that in a majority of the places where the party fielded candidates on behalf of PAGD, it was either left to fend for itself or other parties compounded the problem by fielding proxy candidates.

"DDC elections per se may not matter institutionally. But... it was less of an election and more of an opportunity to send a strong unanimous political message," he said.

Apart from the number of seats that PAGD won, he said that another important statistical variable in the context of August 5 was the number of votes polled against the PAGD.

"PAGD won these elections unambiguously having won the maximum number of seats. We cannot hide statistics and apart from the number of seats that PAGD won, other important statistical variable in the context of August 5 is the number of votes polled against the PAGD," he said.

"We believe that the votes polled against the PAGD are majorly the votes cast by proxies of PAGD constituent parties against official PAGD candidates. And the net outcome of selectively voting for and against PAGD is a very poor vote share. This is certainly not the vote share that the people of Jammu and Kashmir deserved post August 5," Lone added.

Stressing that his party was divorcing from the alliance and not its objectives, he assured the PAGD leadership that it would extend support on all issues which fall within the ambit of stated objectives.

According to Jammu and Kashmir Election Commissioner KK Sharma, BJP won 75, NC bagged 67 seats Independent registered victory on 50 seats, PDP won 27 seats, Congress got 26 seats, JKAP bagged 12 seats, JKPC won 8 seats, JKPM won 3 seats, CPI(M) gained 5 seats while JKNPP and PDF won 2 seats each and BSP bagged 1 seat. (ANI)

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