National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Thursday said a final decision on contesting all 90 assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir will be taken at the time of polls, and that the shutters have not been pulled down on the five-party PAGD alliance. His remarks come a day after the provincial committee of the National Conference resolved to contest all 90 seats and not in alliance with other members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), the amalgam formed for restoration of special status of Jammu and Kashmir within the Indian Constitution.
“The PAGD will never shut its doors,” Abdullah told reporters here. Asked about the party’s provincial committee resolution that the NC should prepare and fight all 90 assembly seats when the elections take place, he said the NC was a democratic party, but the final decision will be taken at the time of the polls. “It (the resolution) is okay. The NC is a democratic party, a democratic party and can pass resolutions, but the final decision will be taken when the time for election comes,” he said.
At the provincial committee meeting, chaired by NC vice president Omar Abdullah, at the party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha here on Wednesday, the participants present in the meeting expressed dismay over the recent statements, audio jingles and speeches made by some of the constituents of the PAGD targeting the NC, the party statement had said.
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“They felt that it does not contribute to the overall unity of the amalgam. They denounced the unfair treatment meted out to JKNC in PAGD. The participants demanded immediate course correction from PAGD constituents. The provincial committee members unanimously resolved that JKNC should prepare and fight all 90 assembly seats.
“The vice president in his response acknowledged the concerns raised by the participants and reiterated that the interest of the people of J&K and JKNC will be safeguarded,” the statement said. However, the NC president said the decision will depend on the situation in J-K at that time. “You (media) have started to decide what we will do. How will that happen. We will have to see how the situation of the state will be that time (elections),” he added.When asked about his party expressing dismay over the recent statements, audio jingles and speeches made by some of the constituents of the PAGD targeting NC, Abdullah, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, also said everyone should show tolerance.
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“The statements (against NC) will come, but it should be our endeavour to show tolerance. If you cannot have tolerance, then you will not be able to do anything for the people. You should remember two things – tolerance and patience. Also, one should be ready to sacrifice himself,” he said.Asked what advice he will give to Omar, the NC president said he cannot advise his son as he understands what needs to be done.
PDP, the other major constituent of the PAGD, had also downplayed the NC resolution saying it would not affect the unity of the amalgam. “PAGD was conceived for a much larger cause than just an electoral alliance. If some constituent of the Alliance has reservations for any kind of electoral alliance, that will not impact our unity for the larger goal,” chief spokesman of the PDP Suhail Bukhari said in a tweet. Besides the NC, the PAGD, which was formed on August 4, 2019, comprises the PDP, CPM, Awami National Conference and CPI. During the 2020 District Development Council elections, the alliance contested and won 110 seats out of 280 with the NC winning 67 seats alone.