First blow to Gupkar Alliance as Sajjad Lone quits

First blow to PAGD as Sajjad Lone's People's Conference leaves alliance

Lone said that the PAGD should rest assured that his party would support the alliance on all issues under the ambit of its stated objectives

Former People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration spokesperson Sajjad Lone. Credit: PTI File Photo

In a first major blow to People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), People’s Conference (PC) led by Sajad Lone on Tuesday pulled out of it, saying there has been a breach of trust between the constituent parties.

In a letter to PAGD President, Farooq Abdullah, the PC chief said he is leaving the alliance because other parties fielded proxy candidates against his party in the recently concluded District Development Council (DDC) elections in which PAGD won 110 seats while the BJP emerged victorious in 75 constituencies.

Also Read | Abdullah-led PAGD heads for victory in Jammu and Kashmir DDC polls

“It is difficult for us to stay on and pretend as if nothing has happened. There has been a breach of trust between partners, which we believe is beyond remedy. The majoritarian view in our party is that we should pull out of the alliance in an amicable manner rather than waiting for things to get messier," the letter reads.

He, however, said that they were leaving the alliance, not its objectives. “We will continue to adhere to the objectives that we set out when this alliance was made. And the PAGD leadership should be assured that we will extend support on all issues which fall within the ambit of stated objectives. We have issued clear instructions to all party leaders not to issue any statements against PAGD alliance or its leaders,” added Lone, in the letter.

The PAGD is an alliance of seven parties - National Conference (NC), PDP, CPI, CPM, PC, Peoples Movement and Awami National Conference – and was formed on October 15 last year to work towards restoring the special status of J&K which was revoked in August 2019.

“This alliance needed sacrifice. Every party had to sacrifice on the ground in terms of giving space to fellow allies. No party is willing to cede space and no party is willing to sacrifice. We fought against each other in Kashmir province, not against the perpetrators of August 5 (abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019). And those who perpetrated August 5 and their minions are now vocally gleeful,” Lone said in his letter.