Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday slammed the Congress party for not clarifying their stance on the Gupkar alliance. The I&B minister has said that Congress has distanced itself from Gupkar alliance but has a seat-sharing deal with them for the District Development polls. Calling them hypocritical, Javadekar attacked the Congress as the state unit of party met PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti last week and had said that they would finalise the seat-sharing for upcoming polls.
Congress stand on alliance with #GupkarGang is hypocritical.— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 19, 2020
Maintaining a distance with #GupkarGang in public and going to polls with seat-sharing with them in J&K District Development Council election ??@BJP4India @JPNadda
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath slammed the 'double-faced' Congress party for playing with the 'nation's integrity' by supporting the restoration of Article 370 and demanded that the party make its stance on the matter clear. Slamming the Gupkar alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, UP CM Yogi Adityanath said that the country was grateful to PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A and alleged that terrorism had been funnelled in J&K using Article 370.
Requisite amendments in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, and J&K Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, have enabled the setting up of District Development Councils, the members of which shall be directly elected by voters in the Union Territory. The DDC which will have a term of 5 years replaces the District Planning and Development Boards which were headed by a Cabinet Minister of the erstwhile state of J&K. Addressing a press briefing, State Election Commissioner KK Sharma stated that the polls for the vacant seats of sarpanches, panches and Urban Local Bodies will be held simultaneously with the DDC polls. The DDC elections will be conducted in 8 phases between November 28 and December 19, with the counting of votes scheduled for December 22.
On October 15, a meeting of all the Gupkar Declaration signatories barring Congress was held wherein a formal alliance- People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration was announced. However, confusion persisted over Congress' association with the alliance as the party leadership at the Central and state level differed over its political stance in J&K. All doubts were seemingly put to rest on November 15 when J&K Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir declared that the PAGD constituents shall fight the DDC polls together.
However, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala not only ruled out his party being a part of the PAGD but also indirectly expressed disapproval of Abdullah and Mufti's controversial remarks. Subsequently, the J&K Congress chief made a U-turn on Tuesday. Mentioning that no state-level Congress leader had participated in the meetings of the PAGD until now, he said that his party would fight the election on its own symbol.