Congress cry in political wilderness of J&K

People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) President Farooq Abdullah, Vice-president Mehbooba Mufti, Mohammad Yousaf Tarigami (C), leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI-M) and Chief Spokesperson Muzaffar Hussain Shah during a meeting with members of Kashmiri Migrant Pandits at Farooq Abdullah’s residence in Srinagar.(File Photo: Nisar Malik /IANS)

Sheikh Qayoom

Srinagar, Feb 26 (IANS) Vikar Rasool Wani, president of J&K Pradesh Congress committee said on Monday that the Congress, the regional National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will fight the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections jointly.

The statement is a tall claim given the fact that the NC president, Dr. Farooq Abdullah has categorically said that his party would fight the Lok Sabha polls on its own.

Dr. Abdullah’s statement had also sounded the death knell for the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which the elder Abdullah heads.

If there is no seat-sharing among the member political parties of the PAGD how could the Congress claim to forge an alliance with the NC and the PDP for the Lok Sabha polls? Interestingly, the Congress is not even one of the constituents of the PAGD and if the members of the PAGD cannot look into each other’s eyes for seat-sharing, how can an outsider like the Congress make them sup together?

The PDP had met immediately after the NC president made the statement of going solo for the five Lok Sabha seats in J&K and one seat in the Ladakh UT.

Senior leaders of the PDP had expressed their dismay and resentment against Dr. Abdullah’s decision to ignore the PDP in seat-sharing.

Insiders told IANS that it was decided at the PDP meeting of senior leaders that if the NC went ahead and decided to field its candidates for all three Lok Sabha seats in the Valley, then the PDP would also field its candidates for these three seats.

Omar Abdullah, had said immediately after his father’s statement that the option of seat-sharing with the Congress is not over and the NC could negotiate with the Congress for the Jammu-Samba-Reasi Lok Sabha seat.

In another interesting development, former deputy chief minister and senior leader, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh told reporters recently that he has not re-joined the PDP.

This happened after Beigh had gone to late Mufti Sayeed’s mausoleum on his death anniversary and the PDP leadership had announced the same day that Beigh had returned to the PDP.

Beigh recently attended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting in Jammu city and also praised the Prime Minister for his people friendly flagship programmes.

“I live in a village and I know how much the Prime Minister has done for the common man”, Beigh told reporters on the sidelines of the Prime Minister’s public gathering in Jammu.

Grapevine has it that Beigh is likely to stand as an independent candidate from south Kashmir Anantnag-Rajouri-Poonch Lok Sabha constituency and would be supported by the BJP.

It must be mentioned that Beigh belongs to the Pahari community of J&K. This community was recently granted the ST status by the government of India fulfilling the 70-year old demand of the community.

Given these ground realities, the statement made by Vikar Rasool Wani that the Congress, the NC and the PDP would fight the Lok Sabha elections jointly to give the BJP a united opposition face is nothing more than a hope and a cry in the political wilderness of J&K.

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