AGENCIES, Srinagar: Just over a year after the Centre revoked special constitutional rights granted to Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union Territories, its main regional parties have formally joined hands to fight against the move in a significant political shift away from long-standing rivalries, NDTV reported.
In a joint statement, the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Congress and Awami National Conference have said that the August 5, 2019 decision of the Centre has changed the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi. They vowed to fight collectively for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status as guaranteed by the Constitution under Article 370.
The statement said that all parties will abide by the Gupkar Declaration of August 4, 2019, in which regional parties and the Congress resolved to protect Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status and fight against any move to dilute it.
The Congress, however, already seemed to be having second thoughts. “Our representative had signed Gupkar Declaration last year. A lot has changed since then. We are for restoration of statehood to J&K but on abrogation of 370, we should wait for the Supreme Court verdict rather than forging any political entente,” said G.A. Mir, state Congress chief. “Dr Farooq Abdullah spoke to me a few days back but I have not signed the statement,” he said.
According to sources, the political understanding among regional parties and the joint statement was managed with secrecy and a degree of precision. For the last four days, all the leaders talked to each other and some have managed to meet as well.
“Yesterday, draft was framed and circulated among leaders. It was approved by all leaders,” said a senior political leader. “Delhi establishment managed to do which no one could have done in Kashmir. Our party politics is in a suspended animation and our collective goal will be to fight for restoration of Constitution,” he said.
In a tweet, Mehbooba Mufti who is still under detention under the Public Safety Act, has praised her long-time rival Farooq Abdullah for ensuring political unity in Kashmir to fight for its rights.