A day after appointing constituency in-charges of 47 assembly segments of Kashmir Valley, National Conference president, and former Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Thursday sought to downplay the "crumbling" of the Peoples' Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

"The PAGD is always there. These constituency in-charges won't be tomorrow's candidates for the same segments. Some people are saying whatever they like. Appointing the constituency in-charge is not an indication that NC will contest assembly elections alone", Farooq said when whether the decision of his party is an indication of the "disintegration" of the PAGD.

Gupkar Alliance
social media

Six parties formed PAGD to protect the "special status" of J&K

With much publicity, the PAGD was formed in October 2019 by six political parties with the pledge of perseverance and steadfastness toward the restoration of Article 370. This resolution was written in the Alliance's declaration where the political parties stated there would be "nothing about us without us," meaning they will stick together come what may.

"We want to assure people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed before August 2019," read PAGD's declaration.

Within a couple of months after its formation, PAGD received a severe jolt when Sajad Lone of the Peoples' Conference, left the alliance. Lone charged both NC and PDP with fielding proxy candidates against the officially mandated candidates of the alliance during the DDC elections. He called these actions "a breach of trust".

NC on Wednesday appointed in-charge of all 47 assembly segments of Kashmir Valley

National Conference on Wednesday nominated the constituency in-charges for 47 Assembly segments across Kashmir in a step towards the preparations for the upcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

The constituency in-charges appear to be the party candidates for the next assembly elections. The step taken by the party is an indication that NC may go solo in these elections and may not contest polls under the banner of the PAGD.

Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah
National Conference (NC) leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah at Parliament, in New Delhi on June 25, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

It may be mentioned here that in August 2022 NC passed a resolution in the presence of its vice president Omar Abdullah, that NC will contest all 90 Assembly on its own but senior Abdullah later said that a decision on polls will be taken only when they are announced.

Omar won't contest elections till statehood is restored

Farooq Abdullah reiterated that Omar Abdullah would not contest assembly elections till J&K's statehood is restored. Farooq said Omar has already clarified that he will not contest elections till the statehood of J&K is restored.

Omar Abdullah
Twitter handle of NC

In 2020 after his release from prolonged detention, Omar Abdullah had said he will not contest assembly elections till J&K remains a Union Territory. Omar argued that he had been a leader of the state, and it was the most empowered assembly in the country and that he cannot and will not be a member of what is now one of the most disempowered assemblies in the country.