Jammu and Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah named president of People\'s Alliance

Abdullah told reporters \"Ours isn\'t an anti-national group. Our aim is to ensure that the rights of people of J-K and Ladakh are restored\".

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir's half a dozen mainstream regional political parties along with the CPIM's local unit on Saturday formally structured their alliance and unanimously elected former chief minister Farooq Abdullah as its president.

Abdullah who heads the erstwhile state's oldest political party National Conference (NC) told reporters "Ours isn't an anti-national group. Our aim is to ensure that the rights of people of J-K and Ladakh are restored".

He alleged that attempts are being made to drive a wedge between various communities in what are now known as twin Union Territories of J-K and Ladakh and said that the new alliance would defeat such designs as well. He said, "Attempts of dividing us in the name of religion will fail. It's not a religious fight."

The signatories of "Gupkar Declaration" met at the residence of former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti here earlier to discuss the political situation and other important issues faced by J-K and Ladakh.

A spokesman of the group said that during the meeting, the particiants put forth their valuable suggestions for consolidating the movement taken up for restoration of Articles 370 and 35A and other rights of the people of J-K which now stands divided into two UTs.

He added, "Also, the Alliance was given a formal shape and its member parties reposed their faith in Dr Farooq Abdullah and elected him as president. Mehbooba Mufti was elected as vice-president while People's Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone will be its spokesman".

"The flag of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was adopted was as the flag of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration," he said.

On October 15, the signatories of ‘Gupkar Declaration’ had held at a meeting at Abdullah's residence here and named the initiative as ‘People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration'. Talking about the purpose behind forging of the alliance, he had said “Ours is a constitutional battle. We want the Government of India to return to the people the rights they held prior to August 5, 2019.”

‘Gupkar Declaration’ was a pledge for defending Article 370 and 35A by Kashmir’s mainstream parties which they took at a meeting held at Mr. Abdullah’s residence along Srinagar's Gupkar Road on August 4, 2019, a day before the state was stripped of its special status and split up into two UTs.

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