Congress to contest J&K DDC polls, says have to ‘stop communal forces’

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Srinagar: Even as the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) is yet to take a call on contesting the upcoming polls to the District Development Councils (DDCs), the Congress on Saturday announced that it will take part in the electoral process.

J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president GA Mir said the Congress had decided to contest the DDC elections to ‘stop communal’ forces.

“BJP is trying to finish our identity and people from all sections are annoyed. People should come forward and take part in the elections and take account of the wrong policies of the BJP through their vote. Congress will try its best to stop communal processes and we hope that the people understand the situation. The government should look at security concerns and ensure free and fair elections,” Mir told reporters in Jammu.

The DDC elections are scheduled to be held on December 1 across Jammu and Kashmir.

The JKPCC president avoided a direct reply when asked if the Congress was still a part of the PAGD.

“We were a part of the Gupkar declaration on August 4 (2019)….our fight is against the wrong policies of BJP,” he said.

Earlier, Mir had stated that he had sought time from the PAGD on the future course of action as he needed to consult the Congress high command. However, Mir had further said the PAGD leaders did not wait and went ahead with its programmes.

The PAGD had been formed on October 15 by six major political parties of J&K. However, the Congress that was one of the ‘Gupkar declaration’ signatories had skipped the October 15 meeting. Prior to stripping of J&K’s special status on August 5 last year, the leaders had met at the Gupkar residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah here and drafted the declaration.

Even as a JKPCC statement had claimed that its president GA Mir did not attend the October 15 meeting due to health reasons, he later toured parts of Jammu region the next day. The JKPCC president did not attend the PAGD meeting on October 24 either after which Farooq Abdullah was nominated president of the amalgam.

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