People’s Conference chairperson Sajad Lone has announced his party’s exit from the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in what is considered as the first crack in the alliance. He cited fielding of proxy candidates in the District Development Council (DDC) polls as a reason for his exit.
Lone, who was the alliance spokesperson, conveyed the decision in a letter to Farooq Abdullah, president of the alliance. “People know that blinded by political greed we fielded candidates against each other,” Lone said in the strongly worded letter.
“It is difficult for us to stay on and pretend as if nothing has happened. There has been a breach of trust between partners, which we believe is beyond remedy. The majoritarian view in our party is that we should pull out of the alliance in an amicable manner rather than waiting for things to get messier… I am confirming that we will no longer be a part of the PAGD,” Lone said.
“We will continue to adhere to the objectives that we set out when this alliance was made. And the PAGD leadership should be assured that we will extend support on all issues which fall within the ambit of stated objectives,” he added.
There was disquiet within the People’s Conference over its continuation in the PAGD, and senior party leader Imran Raza Ansari had made his concerns public. Party insiders said Ansari was in touch with several political leaders outside J&K too. They said that while Ansari played a key role in the party’s decision to pull out of the PAGD, it was a unanimous decision taken by the top leadership including Lone.
The People’s Conference is the first party to quit the PAGD, an alliance of seven Kashmir-centric mainstream parties, including the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party, formed for the restoration of Article 370.