Not part of PAGD: Congress

Following the remarks of Home Minister Amit Shah asking Congress top brass to make their stand clear on joining People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), the party on Tuesday said it has not joined the amalgam and has instead entered into “seat sharing at certain places.”

PAGD – an amalgam of various political parties including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Peoples Conference, CPI (M), Awami National Conference and Peoples Movement – has vouched to strive for J&K’s pre-August 2019 status. Though Congress being signatory to the alliance’s declaration has maintained distance from it, and has recently joined it saying it has made the decision to contest District Development Council (DDC) elections.

In its statement, J&K Congress said it refutes the “concocted and baseless allegations levelled by Union Home Minister aiming to connect the party with PAGD”.

“Congress was neither part of PAGD nor have participated in any of its meetings or deliberations, but it has entered  into seat sharing at certain places at local district level,” Congress said.

Terming Shah’s remarks as “propaganda”, the party accused him of indulging in “dirty politics”.

“BJP leaders are in the habit of indulging in rumour mongering aiming to gain political mileage. Eyeing DDC elections in J&K, Union Home Minister seems desperate  enough about the poll outcome, which is certainly going to be unfavourable to BJP,” the party said.

Congress also said that political parties who are taking part in elections under Constitution of India cannot be named as “Chinese” or Pakistani”.

Congress’ J&K president GA Mir told the Greater Kashmir: “Those who have taken part in election process under the Constitution of India, those who are taking part under democracy, they (BJP) cannot name them as Chinese or Pakistani.”

On BJP questioning the party’s decision to contest DDC elections alongside NC and PDP, Mir said BJP should understand that their party was in alliance with both the regional parties, and by questioning their “nationalism”, it is in fact raising questions over itself.

“NC was once ally of BJP government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayeejee. And PDP till yesterday was part of Modi government. When they are terming them as being anti- national, they should realise that in fact they are hurling these abuses on themselves,” he said.

Mir also accused BJP of being in league with English when the Congress was fighting for the country’s independence.

“We don’t need certificate of patriotism from them. Congress has a history from freedom movement. Right from 1855 to 1947, and from 1947 till now, we are those people who got freedom and gave sacrifices. Congress workers in lakhs have given sacrifices. When we were fighting for country’s freedom, they (BJP) were hand in glove with the English,” he said.

“Bonds were signed by BJP men to English that they are not with the freedom movement. Bond was never signed by any Congressmen. They must check background of their predecessors,” he said.

Later, in the afternoon Mir took to social media over remarks of Home Minister Amit Shah.

Mir wrote on Twitter: “Congress doesn’t need nationalism lessons from BJP”. In another tweet addressed to Shah, Mir wrote: “Were Mr. Omar & Mrs. Mufti nationalist or antinational when you were in coalition with them. You should clear this first Mr Shah.”