PAGD yet to decide plan for DDC chairperson election

DDC chairperson election: PAGD yet to decide about future course of action

The alliance contested the first-ever district development council (DDC) polls last year

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

Two weeks after Peoples Conference (PC) led by Sajjad Lone walked out of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Alliance (PAGD), the other constituents of the alliance are yet to decide future course of action.

The PAGD was an alliance of seven parties - National Conference (NC), PDP, CPI, CPM, PC, Peoples Movement and Awami National Conference - which was formed on October 15 last year to work towards restoring the special status of J&K which was revoked last August.

The alliance contested the first-ever district development council (DDC) polls which were held in November and December of 2020 winning 110 seats out of total 240 in J&K. But less than a month after the poll results, Sajjad Lone pulled out of the alliance, saying there had been a breach of trust between the constituent parties.

The rest of the constituents have been silent since then and are still indecisive over the ensuing elections for the chairpersons of DDCs. Though there were always apprehensions in Kashmir about the PAGD’s ability to stick together, nobody had expected the alliance to fall apart so soon.

“There is a lot of uncertainty over the future of the PAGD as the leaders of both NC and the PDP – two main regional parties in Kashmir – are not comfortable with the alliance,” a senior NC leader, wishing anonymity told DH.

Elaborating further, he said, there was a lot of resentment among grassroots party cadre over conceding ground to rivals during the recently concluded DDC elections. “More or less there is a consensus in the NC that it would have won more seats in the DDC elections if it had not joined the alliance. PDP would have been decimated if it had contested on its own,” the leader added.

However, the NC leader and Member Parliament (MP), Hassnain Masoodi said DDC elections were never an aim for the parties behind forging an alliance. “To have DDC chairpersons was never the motive of the alliance. Let nobody have any doubts about it that we are determined to pursue the cause, which is to restore pre 5 August 2019 position,” he said.

The PDP general secretary and former minister, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the meeting of PAGD has not taken place yet. However, he said, “we are expecting that a meeting will take place within the next two or three days.”

“Definitely, the PAGD is going to contest in elections for chairpersons of DDC unitedly,” he added.