Explained | What is Gupkar Alliance?

Explained | What is Gupkar Alliance?

The PAGD has several J&K parties as its constituents which are pressing for the restoration of Article 370 and statehood

Members of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Credit: PTI Photo

The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) is an alliance of seven parties in Jammu and Kashmir that is seeking the restoration of the erstwhile state's special status, which was revoked by the Centre in August last year.

Attacking the alliance's move to seek support from other countries, Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed the "unholy global gathbandhan" was against the country's national interest and termed the alliance 'Gupkar Gang,' sparking a political row.

Also read — 'Gupkar Gang is going global!': Amit Shah slams Congress over 'unholy gathbandhan'

In a series of tweets, Shah questioned Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on whether they support the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

His statement evoked angry reactions from the Congress as well as the National Conference and PDP, which hit out at the minister saying his remarks reflected the BJP's frustration on finding a unified political group fighting elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Also read: Not a part of Gupkar Alliance: Congress after Amit Shah's attack

Meanwhile, local Congress leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have maintained that they are not part of the Gupkar Alliance and are only going for a seat-sharing arrangement for the DDC polls, according to PTI.

Which political parties are part of PAGD?

The PAGD constitutes of seven political parties that are pressing for the restoration of Article 370 and statehood in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides the PDP and the NC, the alliance comprises the CPI-M, People's Conference, Awami National Conference, the CPI and the People's Movement.

On August 4, 2019, a day before the central government announced the abrogation of Article 370, political parties in Kashmir, except the BJP, met at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah at Gupkar Road in Srinagar and adopted a declaration to defend Article 370.

More than a year later, in October, the political leaders who had been detained for several months met again and resolved to fight legally and democratically for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

In November, the seven-party amalgam announced they would contest the local body elections together. The Congress also expressed its willingness for seat-sharing arrangement in some districts, however, it has clarified that the party is not a part of the alliance.

Also read: BJP put Congress on defensive about being part of Gupkar alliance: Mehbooba

The PAGD, with Farooq Abdullah as president and Mehbooba Mufti as the vice president, has already announced the seat-sharing arrangement for the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir scheduled to be held on December 4.

(With agency inputs)