Jammu: Seven mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, who are part of the Gupkar alliance, on Saturday announced they would unitedly fight the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in the Union Territory.
The parties, including the National Conference (NC) and the PDP, are part of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which was formed for the restoration of special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Elections to DDCs and vacant posts of sarpanch and panch will be held in eight phases from December 1 to December 24 in Jammu and Kashmir, according to a notification issued by the J-K Election Commission on Friday.
The PAGD decided to participate in the DDC polls at its first meeting in Jammu, since its formation last month.
Will not Die Until Rights of my People are Restored: Farooq Abdullah
In his first political rally here on Friday since the abrogation of J&K’s special status last year, former chief minister Farooq Abdullah said he won't die until constitutional rights of the people of the erstwhile state are restored and dared the Bharatiya Janata Party to respond to his questions rather than "misleading the country" and making "false promises".
"I will not die until the rights of my people are given back.... I am here to do something for the people and the day I will finish my work, I will leave this world," the National Conference (NC) president told his party workers who packed the Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan here ahead of a scheduled meeting of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Saturday.
Taking a dig at the J&K unit of the BJP, he said those setting ablaze his effigies should remember that "it was Farooq Abdullah" who along with BJP stalwart A B Vajpayee represented India in Geneva and silenced the opponents.
"I am not afraid of BJP. I am not armed with lathi or stone, let them come to me and reply to my questions which they will not," he said, adding his party never took decisions on the basis of religion and region.
Continuing his attack, he said "Those who claim to be the champions of Hindu cause and challenging us, let them do a favour to this country by going to the borders and show their power to the enemy rather than to the citizens of the country. We have done it when the NC stood against the tribal raid and saved Srinagar from being captured in 1947."
It was 84-year-old Abdullah's first political meeting in Jammu since the abrogation of Article 370, which accorded Jammu and Kashmir special status, and bifurcation of the state into union territories in August last year.
Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), formed the PAGD last month for the restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state as it existed before August 5 last year and also to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders on the issue.