Following the success of the BJP in the District Development Council elections in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a much anticipated political turmoil has emerged within the Gupkar alliance. The political alliance is the grand coalition of National Conference (NC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and four other parties.
As per reports, after the Gupkar alliance only managed to win only 110 seats out of 280, they have begun blaming one of their key allies aka the National Conference. The infighting began after other coalition partners accused the NC of partiality in seat-sharing and fielding candidates against its own coalition party candidates. Reportedly, Ghulam Hasan Mir, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, has hinted that several disgruntled political leaders from the Gupkar alliance might defect to his party in the upcoming days.
Reportedly, the biggest bone of contention within the Gupkar alliance has been the seat-sharing for the District Development Council elections. The coalition partners have alleged that National Conference was given an unfair share of candidates and that the party ensured the defeat of coalition candidates by fielding its own proxy candidates. Imran Raza Ansari, the General Secretary of Peoples Conference (PC), said that the party fared better than other coalition partners. He claimed that proxy candidates had undermined PC’s performance in the elections and lamented that the party could only contest 10 seats out of 140 in the Valley.
National Conference cadre in dilemma after Omar Abdullah’s statement
NC scion Omar Abdullah had claimed that he has become demotivated and jaded, forcing him to wonder whether he should continue in politics. While talking about his political career, he said, “I find it very difficult to motivate myself, I have lost motivation. A certain light inside may not have been switched off but it’s a lot dimmer. I have never been like this.”
His statement has however increased the worries of an already demotivated party cadre. The party workers said that their ultimate fight is against the BJP and restoration of Article 370. They conceded that the morale of party cadre would fall, if leaders talk about being demotivated and withdrawal from electoral politics.
BJP emerges as the largest party in the recently conducted DDC polls
For the first time since the abolition of Article 370 and the transition of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territory, the elections for the local body were held in Jammu and Kashmir over a period of 25 days. Polls were held for 280 seats of the District Development Council (DDC) in 20 districts of the Union Territory. The polling was held in eight phases beginning on November 28 and concluding on December 19.
Six Kashmir-centric political parties including the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contested the election under the banner of an alliance named the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which was formed for the restoration of Article 370. Initially, the Congress was part of the Gupkar alliance but later the grand old party distanced itself from the alliance. While the PAGD has won 110 seats, the BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 74 seats.
The Gupkar alliance and its anti-India leanings
In October this year, six political parties the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference (PC), Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M), Peoples Movement (PM) and Awami National Conference (ANC) had formed the Gupkar alliance demanding the restoration of Article 370. Gupkar alliance member PDP’s President Mehbooba Mufti had denounced the Indian national flag after being released from detention on October 13. She said that she would not raise the Indian flag until the flag of the erstwhile state of J&K gets restored. NC’s Farooq Abdullah had sought China’s help to revert the central government’s decisions.