The National Conference and the PDP – major constituents of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration – said on Monday that the grouping will jointly contest the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We will contest the elections together. There is a political party that said that they have left the alliance. The truth is that they were never part of the alliance. They had come to break us from within,” National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, who heads the PAGD, told reporters in Srinagar.
Similar sentiments were expressed by PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti earlier in the day.
“We intend to contest the elections together as it is the will of the people that we should strive together for the restoration of our lost dignity,” Mehbooba said.
Responding to a question, Abdullah said elections can be held whenever the government wants.
“Elections were held when we had floods. Why can’t elections be held now? The question is how they want to contest the polls,” the former chief minister added.
Asked about the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, Abdullah said it was the people of Kashmir who have wholeheartedly ensured smooth conduct of the pilgrimage over the years.
“Who was the man who discovered the cave? He was a Muslim from Pahalgam, ” he added.
Abdullah said the government of the time can hoist the national flag from every house. ”They have the final say. But it would be great when people fly the tricolor on their own and not due to diktats, ” he said.
The PAGD, comprising five J-K parties, was formed in October 2020 with a stated aim of restoring Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and was scrapped on August 5, 2019. The Centre had also bifurcated the erstwhile state into two UTs- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The Election Commission has set in motion the preparations for holding assembly polls in the Union Territory. It has initiated the revision of electoral rolls following the delimitation exercise in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Election Commission will publish the finalised electoral rolls of Jammu and Kashmir on October 31, the union territory’s first voters’ list after the boundaries of the assembly seats were redrawn.
In a letter to the chief electoral officer of Jammu and Kashmir, the poll panel has given a timeline to complete various activities before the final publication of the electoral rolls.