The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday criticised the newly formed People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, or Gupkar Alliance, describing it as “unholy”.
At a press conference, the BJP’s spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the alliance was aimed at opposing the implementation of laws duly passed by Parliament.
“Gupkar Alliance wants exactly what Pakistan and anti-India countries want,” he said. “Pakistan has gone to every forum and spoken against the removal of Article 370. The Gupkar Alliance says the same thing.”
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a tie-up of six parties, which was formed in October with the agenda of reinstating the now abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which provided special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Patra’s comments come ahead of the District Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir, which the Gupkar Alliance parties have decided to fight together.
Pointing out that the Congress, too, is part of the alliance, Patra referred to a statement which he said was released by the party’s Jammu and Kashmir president Ghulam Ahmed Mir, who called for defeating “the forces that have forcefully [been] implementing the laws in the Union Territory”.
Taking exception to this statement, Patra said that the law to abrogate Article 370 was passed in the Parliament. He further hit back at the Congress for suggesting that it was being forcefully implemented.
“The BJP would like to ask Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi if they stand by the comments made by leaders in the Gupkar Alliance,” he said.
He also made references to an alleged comment made by National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on taking “China’s support” on the matter of reinstating Article 370 and Peoples Democratic Party Leader Mehbooba Mufti’s recent comments on the national flag.
“Is this alliance Gupkar or Guptachar (spy)?” Patra remarked. “I would want Rahulji and Soniaji [to say] if they are in agreement with the statements made by Mufti and Abdullah.”
The BJP spokesperson also took cue from the recent comments made by former United States President Barack Obama and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Shivanand Tiwari on Rahul Gandhi, to criticise the Congress leader.
“When Obama got to know him [Gandhi] in four-five days, then people who interact with him on a daily basis, would also have realised what he is,” he said. Referring to Tiwari’s comment he said that Gandhi was “a non-performing picnicking president”.
In a separate press conference, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cited laws that have been brought into force in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 and asked if the Congress supports their annulment, reported PTI.
“I want to ask Sonia Gandhi [Congress president] and Rahul Gandhi, do they want restoration of Article 370?” he said. “Please tell the nation categorically and clearly does the Congress support annulment of pro-people laws?”
He said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were earlier disadvantaged due to non-implementation of central laws, and accused the Gupkar Alliance of “narrow conservatism”, according to PTI.
Gupkar Alliance finalises candidates for second phase of DDC polls
Meanwhile, the Gupkar Alliance on Sunday finalised its seat-sharing formula for the second phase of the District Development Council polls, allocating eight seats each out of a total 27 to the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, reported PTI.
Sajad Lone’s Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference will fight on five seats, while the Congress has been allocated three seats. Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement and Awami National Conference will fight on two and one seats, respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under central rule since June 2018. The special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 was revoked in August 2019 by the Parliament and the region was bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. A slew of petitions challenging the abrogation is pending before the Supreme Court.