People's Conference's exit from PAGD beginning of collapse of opportunistic alliance: Apni Party19 January 2021
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday said the exit of the People's Conference from the PAGD was a formal beginning of the collapse of an 'unprincipled' and an 'opportunistic' alliance. He alleged that since its inception, the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) leadership indulged in fraud, deceit and emotional blackmailing of the people just for its own political benefits. 'It is a formal beginning of collapse of an unprincipled and an opportunistic alliance,' Bukhari said in a statement. People's Conference chairperson Sajad Lone on Tuesday announced his party's exit from the PAGD, citing a 'breach of trust' and saying some constituents of the seven-member grouping had fielded proxy candidates in the recent district development council (DDC) elections. 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 Peoples Democratic Party, formed for the restoration of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Bukhari said the People's Conference quitting the PAGD took place much earlier than anticipated by people. 'This development has happened sooner than even what we had thought. This whole political exercise carried out by the PAGD signatories was a pretense and facade to drain the sentiments of people and use them for their electoral numbers. Time has come when the NC and the PDP leadership should go for serious introspection and shun further exploitation of the public,' he said. Since its inception, the PAGD leadership indulged in fraud, deceit and emotional blackmailing of the people just to make its constituent parties politically relevant and reap the electoral dividends in the recently concluded DDC elections, Bukhari, who was a minister in the previous BJP-PDP coalition government, said. He was expelled from the PDP in 2019. The Apni Party president claimed that the PAGD had already felt the heat from the people who wanted results from it on its poll promises and tall claims made by its leadership since its formation. 'These parties have always been duping the electorate of J-K on different slogans. But now nobody in J-K is ready to buy their slogans and get used by these opportunistic political parties for their lust of power. By and large, people had already predicted the fall of this amalgam at the hands of fledgling parties,' he said. Bukhari said with the exit of the People's Conference from the Gupkar Alliance, people must have come to know 'who are the actual B-teams and who is the King's party'. 'Those who until recently would call us names must have by now realised and known about the actual B-teams,' he added. PAGD constituents have in the past accused Bukhari's newly floated party of being the B-team of the BJP and referred to it as 'King's party'. Opposition leaders had met on August 4, 2019, at Gupkar residence of NC chief Farooq Abdullah hours before the Central government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and bifurcated into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. However, the PAGD was formalised only in October 2020 when all the detained leaders were released.