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PAGD may give united fight to BJP in coming assembly polls

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By: Tariq Shah VOV


According to the media reports both PDP and National Conference have said that they will give a united fight to the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming assembly polls.

The Former Chief Minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah while talking to reporters said that there was no other alternative but to fight unitedly against BJP.

Talking to Indian Express PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said that she is fully convinced that NC and PDP will have to jointly fight elections against BJP.

“I am not an office-bearer of the PAGD. I can give my personal opinion. I would say they should contest jointly,” Omar said. “If they ask for my suggestion, it would be that we fight together.”

Mufti has in the past urged a joint fight to stop the BJP in J&K. Mufti has often said that her party’s priority is not who wins the elections but to stop the BJP march in the Union territory.

Recently, Mufti called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, in the first meeting between them since the PDP joined hands with the BJP to come to power in J&K in 2017. The two sides were tightlipped about the visit, with Mufti calling it a courtesy visit.

Backing Omar’s suggestion Wednesday, Mufti said: “When you look at the larger picture, larger interests of the state – you see, I still call it a state – we need to do whatever is to be done, whatever is required, to stand up to the onslaught by the BJP government against Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti said. “We need to stay together, whether during elections or otherwise.”

Mufti said a joint stand would give hope to the people of J&K. “They see a ray of hope in the PAGD,” she said. “It is the need of the hour to stay together. We have to overcome our differences, and stand together for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

PAGD spokesperson and CPM leader M Y Tarigami said a joint fight would be a culmination of the goals of the alliance. “This is what we have been pursuing, all of us together,” Tarigami told The Indian Express.”This is a reaffirmation, and the assent of the NC leader sends an appropriate signal.”

Should they contest elections jointly – which the government has said would be held after the delimitation exercise is over – it would severely impact smaller parties like Altaf Bukhari’s Apni Party and Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference.

The PAGD alliance could also make an impact in the Muslim-dominated Chenab and Pir Panjal areas of Jammu region, where the BJP has been able to win due a division of Muslim votes between the NC and PDP.

In a veiled reference to the Apni Party and Peoples Conference Wednesday, Omar said: “We should not let the BJP or its B and C teams divide votes.” Formed after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, the Apni Party is seen as having Delhi’s backing. The Peoples Conference has in the past been associated with the BJP.

Omar added: “This is my suggestion, but the final decision will be taken by the PAGD. What would be their decision, I am not in a position to say.”

With Indian express inputs

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