Unity without sincerity
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which has emerged after political leaders were set free from detention in Kashmir valley after months of detention post the abrogation of article 370 on August 5, 2019 have failed to prove their sincerity as the alliance has proven that it lacks cohesion.
It was after much deliberation and excuses that the alliance managed to reach a consensus over the seat-sharing arrangement for the second phase of the upcoming DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Though the alliance managed to ward off allegations of rift and collusion among the members but the harsh reality is that the alliance has not been able to forge unity among themselves that was otherwise the sole purpose of forming the alliance.
The alliance partners continued the consultations on reaching a consensus for the second day on Sunday over seat-sharing for the second phase of the DDC polls. The meeting that was held on Sunday was the fourth such exercise that had to be carried out to finalise the list of candidates for the second phase.
On Saturday two leaders among the alliance had walked out of the meeting alleging highhandedness by one of the partners over seat sharing. The point of collusion was that the National Conference had claimed a lion’s share for the second phase as well which did not go well with other partners who protested their move.
The alliance that has come up needs to understand that such moves can prove detrimental for is existence as the mainstream parties in Kashmir have almost reached a threshold where they have become irrelevant. In such a scenario the formation of PAGD had offered them some hope but this hope needs to be rekindled by an element of sincerity and truthfulness.
PAGD was formed on the plea to safeguard the identity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the alliance parties have a bigger cause to fight for than bicker over DDC elections.
For the first phase the NC had already got a bigger share it would contest on 21 seats out of 27, during the first phase of polls while the PDP will fight four and the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) two seats, respectively.
While the PAGD seeks the restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status, the bickering over DDC seats will wipe out its sheen and people will once again see the formation as a group that is created for petty electoral gains.
The road that the PAGD has chosen for itself much before the announcement of DDC polls reflected a wider agenda that suited a huge chunk of population in Jammu and Kashmir. This was the reason that the formation created a flutter among political circles in New Delhi as well.
But this effort and the hope the formation generated seems to be going down the drain as the political ambitions of some constituents are derailing things badly. The group needs to reflect statesmanship and magnanimity if it wants to remain relevant.