First list released after resolving differences over sharing of seats
Srinagar: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a conglomerate of seven political parties formed for restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, on Thursday released the first list of candidates who will contest the District Development Council polls beginning November 28.
The list has come amid differences between National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Awami National Conference, Peoples Conference, Communist Party of India, Peoples Movement and Congress, over seat sharing arrangements.
On Thursday, the alliance issued a list of 22 candidates for 17 constituencies. Of them, 16 hailed from the National Conference, four from Peoples Democratic Party and two from Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference.
“More lists will be issued in the coming day,” said Muzaffar Shah, a signatory of the Alliance told Kashmir Reader. “This list is prepared by the consensus so that it could meet the aim set for it.”
Spokesperson of the Alliance Sajad Lone did not respond to the phone calls from this newspaper.
Another member of the Alliance said that candidates were selected keeping in view the chances to win the polls. This is meant to keep the BJP away.
“There was conflict in it. But it was resolved through the process. The same process will take place for other seats,” he added.
The polls for DDC’s, the third tier of panchayat raj system, will be led by chairperson with five year term. Each district has 14 territorial constituencies and candidates elected will be the DDC members. They will replace the District Development Board which were led by cabinet ministers and legislators in the erstwhile J&K.
The elections are the first major electoral exercise initiated by New Delhi ever since it removed the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded it into two union territories on August 5, 2019. The sudden announcement of the polls put the Gupkar Alliance in a tricky situation as its mandate is restoration of constitutional position as existed on August 4, 2019.
“We are clear why we are contesting the elections. It has nothing to do with our main cause of fighting for restoration of special status. It is just to be on the people’s side,” Mohammad Yosuf Targami, the conveyer of the Alliance told Kashmir Reader.