PAGD issues policy statement over DDC polls in Jammu & Kashmir

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JAMMU: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Thursday warned against disrespecting the people’s mandate in the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir, saying tinkering with democracy is totally unacceptable.

At the end of the first meeting of the alliance after the polls, in which it secured a majority (110 seats), PAGD spokesperson Sajad Lone said there were “disturbing” reports of “interference” in the people’s verdict and the “government of the day acting in a partisan manner”.

JAMMU: President of National Conference (NC) Farooq Abdullah, Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah and other leaders look on as People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration spokesperson Sajjad Lone speaks to the media after a meeting of the Alliance, in Srinagar on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

The meeting took place at PAGD president Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar residence here. “There are some disturbing reports coming about interference in democracy, in the people’s verdict, wherein the government of the day is acting in a partisan manner and in fact, becoming a participant by directly or indirectly facilitating moves by some people to attract independents towards them by confining them,” Lone told reporters.

Flanked by other leaders of the alliance including Abdullah, he said the government should desist from humiliating the “great verdict” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir as history has been witness that such endeavours end up as disasters.

“I think they should desist from this and not humiliate this great verdict of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. History is replete with examples that those who tried to humiliate the verdict of the people, ended up in a disaster. We need to respect this verdict and show respect to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Under no circumstances should democracy be tinkered with, interfered with — that is totally unacceptable,” Lone said.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir, “after so many upheavals”, have reposed their faith in democracy and “it is incumbent upon and the onus lies on the administration to reciprocate that respect and faith in democracy”.

Lone said the meeting was called to review the performance of the alliance in the maiden DDC polls in the Union Territory.

“We met and expressed gratitude to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to those who voted for us and even to those who did not vote for us. We express gratitude to those who came out in very large numbers to strengthen democracy in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti did not attend the meeting, but the party was represented by its general secretary, Ghulam Nabi Hanjura.