PAGD holds first meeting in Jammu

PAGD holds first meeting in Jammu

Jammu: National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah's residence here saw a flurry of political activities on Saturday, as members of the Gupkar alliance met in Jammu for the first time since its formation last month.

Several delegations met leaders of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which was formed by seven mainstream political parties of the Union Territory for the restoration of special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Today, we met for the first time in Jammu and a number of people from the civil society and political parties met us, and we are happy that the sentiment which we saw in Kashmir is also found here," Sajad Ghani Lone, who is the spokesperson for the alliance, told reporters.

Members of the alliance had earlier held meetings in the Kashmir division of the Union Territory.

The meeting was attended by PDP president and PAGD vice chairperson Mehbooba Mufti, CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami, People's Conference chairman Lone, Awami National Conference's senior vice president Muzaffar Shah, Peoples Movement leader Javed Mustafa Mir and other leaders of the alliance.

They reached PAGD chairperson Farooq Abdullah's Bhatindi resident in the morning for the meeting.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and former PDP legislator Firdous Tak were also present at the meeting. Over 30 delegations visited former chief minister Farooq Abdullah's residence before the start of the meeting at around 4 pm. Prominent among the visitors included veteran politician and patron of the National Panthers Party (NPP) Prof Bhim Singh.

Lone said that a delegation of Sikhs met the leaders in the morning followed by delegations from the Kashmiri migrant pandit community and Gaddi and Sippi communities.

Delegations of Dalits, schedule castes, transporters and farmers were among those who met leaders of the alliance, he said. "They are all facing grave economic and administrative problems but apart from that, the common thread in our thinking and their thinking was that they are all unhappy and hurt by the decisions of August 5, last year as much as we are hurt there (in Kashmir), they are hurt (in Jammu)," Lone said.

He said this process of interactions would continue.

The Centre on August 5 last year had abrogated the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

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