Congress to discuss whether to contest polls with PAGD

Congress is holding an important meeting in Jammu to deliberate on the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) polls in J&K, party sources said on Monday.

The meeting holds key following the claim by National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, who is also chairman of Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) that Congress was going to fight the polls jointly with the amalgam of various political parties who have vouched to strive for pre-5 August 2019 status of J&K.

The party’s in-charge of J&K affairs Rajni Patil, its J&K president GA Mir and other senior party leaders will hold the deliberations over the course of strategy to be followed for the upcoming polls.

“He (Mir) had met Farooq Abdullah at his residence. He told Farooq sahib that he will talk with the party leaders about possibilities for upcoming DDC polls. He was there to evolve a formula. However, Dr sahib chose to speak it publicly. We are going to discuss it all,” said a party source.

Another source in the party said the remarks made by Farooq Abdullah in public are “serious” considering the party’s stake at national level and the recent statements of PAGD members which can be used by certain elements to “coerce the party’s national interests.”

“These things will be deliberated upon. We have to keep fighting for J&K interests, while keeping our national interest intact,” said a party source.

A senior leader of the party however didn’t rule out joining PAGD, saying elections are about “management”.

“There would be management and adjustment on seats. We have to keep the sentiments of J&K and rest of the country under consideration,” he added.