National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a coalition of regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, remains “unharmed, perhaps stronger than ever” because of favourable results in the District Development Council polls, The Hindu reported.

The Gupkar alliance swept the DDC elections by winning 110 seats. The results were announced on December 23. The Bharatiya Janata Party, on the other hand, emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats.

Abdullah said that the alliance’s critics had tried to undermine it. “There were days when our detractors cried to the world that we don’t exist any more,” he said while speaking at the National Conference headquarters in Srinagar. “But people have deflated their claims by supporting the PAGD [People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration].”

Abdullah added: “The PAGD remains unharmed, perhaps stronger than ever before on account of poll outcome in its favour. The results of the polls reveal the out and out support of people to the alliance.”

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The National Conference chief said that discipline among the alliance’s workers encouraged the people to extend their support to them. “Our party has seen many highs and lows, but with people on our side, we have been able to tide over all the difficulties,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu. “The region is passing through a difficult phase, thus making it imperative for the party cadre to close their ranks for meeting the challenges ahead.”

Abdullah urged the workers of his party to strengthen their bond with the people by serving them, according to Greater Kashmir. “Highs and lows are part of growth,” he told the party workers. “Sometimes we need to journey into the deepest, darkest, scariest, most painful journeys to succeed.”

The Gupkar alliance, a tie-up of six parties, was formed in October with the objective of reinstating the now abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir.