Congress to Contest DDC Polls in J&K Elections: PAGD Coalition

Farooq Abdullah announced that PAGD has formed an alliance with Congress to contest the upcoming DDC polls. 

2 min read
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah.

Farooq Abdullah, the chairman of National Conference (NC) announced over the weekend that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) – an alliance of mainstream political parties with a focus to restore special status – will be contesting the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir alongside a new coalition with the Congress party.

"The Congress is still a part of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and we will fight the DDC elections together," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and President of PAGD told ANI.

His remarks came a day after the Congress announced its decision to field their own candidates for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections.

Last week, J&K Election Commissioner KK Sharma announced that the first DDC elections in the newly bifurcated Union Territory will be held on 28 November and 22 December and will have eight phases, reported NDTV. The DDC election for 280 constituencies will fill up 234 vacant seats of sarpanches, panches and local bodies.

This will be the first electoral elections in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

PAGD Alliance to fight against BJP Majority In J&K

The PAGD is a group of seven parties including National Conference, the Peoples Conference, the Communist Party of India, the Awami National Conference and PDP. It has Farooq Abdullah as the President and Mehbooba Mufti as the vice-president and has been formed to contest against a BJP majority in J&K. It was formed in August last year, a day before the central government abrogated Article 370.

Congress sought distance from the J&K until after the voting for the Bihar elections that had BJP making Article 370 a poll issue, reported NDTV. J&K Congress chief, Ghulam Ahmed Mir and members of the Congress party had missed scheduled meetings that played to speculations of Congress’s withdrawal of support from the alliance. However, Mir released a statement that he missed the meetings on 15 October and 24 October because he was unwell and out of town.

Abdullah announced to the media, “Ghulam Ahmad Mir, president of the Congress’s J&K unit, informed me about his party’s plan to join the alliance (PAGD) and contest the DDA elections together,”, reported Hindustan Times.

"They are together this time. National Conference, Congress, PDP. People's Conference and the rest. The situation is such that they should be together and seen in public to be together," Congress leader Saifuddin Soz told NDTV to confirm the coalition of his party with PAGD.

The state election commission announced that 16 November would be the last date for filing nominations; 17 November for scrutiny of nominations and 19 November for the withdrawal of candidature, said an official spokesman to Hindustan Times.

(This article has inputs from NDTV, Hindustan Times and ANI)

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