PAGD leaves field open for Congress in Shangus block

Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) had not fielded any candidate in Shangus block of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district that went to polls on Tuesday.

However, it supported Congress, which is not part of the alliance.

Both Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) have a strong voter base here. However, in 2014, Congress candidate Gulzar Ahmad Wani was elected from the assembly constituency of Kotihar-Shangus that includes Shangus, Chatergul and Achabal blocks.

The seat is reserved for women and those in the fray for the District Development Council (DDC) polls include Wani’s daughter ShabahatGulzar (Congress) and independent candidates SabreenaMushtaq, Salma Lateef, Mubeena Begum and Rozy Jan.

“Yes we have an understanding with PAGD that we will support each other. So, the vote for Congress is also vote for the alliance,” Wani told Greater Kashmir.

Under fire from BJP, Congress’ communication department head RandeepSurjeawal said that the party was not part of PAGD and that it had no electoral understanding with it in the DDC polls.

Wani’s daughter seconded her father saying besides Congress, she was also representing PAGD.

Earlier, JKPCC chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir also denied being part of PAGD but admitted that there was an electoral arrangement with different political parties at the district level and that also included NC and PDP.

In Pahalgam block which went for polls in the first phase, Congress had not fielded any candidate against PAGD.

The polling in Shangus was moderate. In BrariAngan and upper areas of Chatergul, people turned out in good numbers to vote. However, in the villages surrounding main Shangus, Nowgam, Kutihar and Utersoo, the response was cold. The block has around 50,000 voters.