Ahead of the seventh phase of the District Development Council (DDC) polls in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday targeted the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) stating that the partners in the conglomerate are “hungry for power” and they were “deceiving” the people of the Union Territory.
The PAGD is a conglomerate of regional and national political parties in Jammu and Kashmir formed to demand the restoration of Article 370.
Addressing an election rally in the Reasi district, the Union Minister for Textiles and Women and Child Development Irani said: “The Gupkar gang is deceiving people during this election. They never came together to benefit the public, or to provide food, sanitation and other basic amenities for the needy. They have only come together now because they are hungry for power.”
The mainstream parties, including the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Conference, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) formed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) in the month of October and are fighting the maiden District Development Council (DDC) elections together.After the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, the refugees from Pakistan got the opportunity to vote in local body elections this year.
On PAGD’s demand for the abrogation of Article 370, she said: “Some people challenged India’s Constitution and Parliament, saying that there would be bloodshed if Article 370 was repealed. They probably did not realise the power and strength of the people who were waiting to see a united India, right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari for years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did so with the blessings of the people,” she said.
“History will be made when residents of Reasi vote for lotus on December 13,” Irani added.
The sixth phase of the first-ever DDC elections that was held on Sunday recorded a voter percentage of 42.79 per cent across 31 constituencies spread over different districts of Jammu and Kashmir till 1 pm on Sunday.
The remaining two phases will take place on December 16 and 19 respectively. Votes will be counted on December 22.