Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Thursday said the Congress should clarify its stance on the Gupkar alliance in Jammu and Kashmir, alleging that the party has exposed its “double standards” by supporting it, PTI reported.
“The senior leadership of the Congress party needs to clear its stand on the Gupkar declaration as its double standards will not only harm the nation’s security and sovereignty but also put the entire party in the dock,” he said at a press conference. Adityanath also alleged that the presence of Congress leaders at Gupkar alliance meetings was a clear indication that the party’s leaders say one thing in Delhi but do something else in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also claimed that the Congress has always played with the pride of the country and encouraged separatist elements. The chief minister said that a few Congress leaders such as P Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad have spoken about restoring Article 370, and added that the Gupkar alliance includes signatories from the Congress as well.
However, the Congress has clarified that it was not formally a part of the alliance but was only contesting the district development council polls to expose the “anti-people” face of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Uttar Pradesh chief minister also targeted Peoples Democratic Alliance chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah for their “dangerous statements”, adding that the Congress had joined hands with these Gupkar signatories.
In a separate tweet, Adityanath also alleged that the Congress was supporting separatists, apparently referring to members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration. “The Gupkar alliance of opposition leaders in Jammu and Kashmir is a sickening effort to affect the unity of the country,” he said in a tweet. “It is shameful for Congress to support the Gupkar [alliance]. The Congress leadership should clarify its stance on the Gupkar alliance”.
He said in another tweet that the Congress has no right to deprive the residents of Jammu and Kashmir of basic facilities and development. “Today, when the Centre was making efforts to bring development through local body institutions, it is very dangerous and embarrassing for the Congress to appear with the separatists.”
Besides Adityanath, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday also targeted the Gupkar Alliance, terming it an “unholy global gathbandhan [alliance]” and referring it to as a “gang”. “Either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it,” he said. Shah also accused the alliance of attempting to take Jammu and Kashmir “back to the era of terror and turmoil”.
He also attacked the Congress. In an apparent reference to an alleged comment made by Farooq Abdullah on taking “China’s support” on the matter of reinstating Article 370, and Mehbooba Mufti’s recent comments on the national flag, Shah asked Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the party’s MP Rahul Gandhi to clarify their stand.
On Wednesday, the Congress hit back at Shah’s statements with Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal saying that the Congress and People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration wanted to take Jammu and Kashmir back to the era of terror and turmoil. “Amitji was BJP-PDP [Bharatiya Janata Party-Peoples Democratic Party] alliance to bring back terror in J&K?” he tweeted. “Which gang were you then part of?”
Congress leader Saifuddin Soz also criticised Shah for the comments, saying that the home minister has shown India and its democracy in poor light by describing the alliance of mainstream political parties as a “gang”.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah had also criticised Shah for his remarks on Tuesday. “We are not a ‘gang’ Amit Shahji, we are a legitimate political alliance having fought and continuing to fight elections, much to your disappointment,” Abdullah said.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, or Gupkar Alliance, is 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. Under the Gupkar Declaration, the constituent parties had resolved to protect Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status and fight against any move to dilute it.