SRINAGAR, — Jammu and Kashmir’s assembly elections must be held only after the restoration of full statehood, said the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is an electoral alliance between the several regional political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an official statement after the first meeting of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, the alliance spokesperson M.Y. Tarigami said restoration of statehood has been “BJP’s commitment on the floor of the Parliament, and they must honor their word.”

“So any assembly election must be held only after the restoration of full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. 

Map of Srinagar India

“To this end, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has decided to reach out to other political parties in Jammu and Kashmir with a view to taking a common position on the issue.”

“All the members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration had expressed their disappointment at the outcome of the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, especially at the absence of any substantial confidence-building measures such as releasing political and other prisoners from jails and taking concrete steps to end the siege and atmosphere of suppression that has choked Jammu and Kashmir since 2019.”

He said that this would have initiated the much-needed process of reaching out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are the most crucial stakeholders and sufferers of the Jammu and Kashmir problem. 

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration met under the chairmanship of Farooq Abdullah at his residence in Srinagar.

The meeting, which was scheduled to be held on June 29, got postponed because of some personal engagement of Mehbooba Mufti, chief of Peoples Democratic Party

The meeting was attended by vice-chairperson Mehbooba Mufti, Tarigami, Justice(retired) Hasnain Masoodi, Javed Mustafa Mir, and Muzaffar Ahmed Shah.

Mufti said after the meeting that she had told the prime minister that the people of Jammu and Kashmir do not accept the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated. 

“People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration in the meeting reiterated its commitment to fight together to reverse the unconstitutional and unacceptable changes foisted on the people of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, using all constitutional, legal and political means at its disposal,” said Tarigami.

“People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’s struggle for undoing these changes will continue as long as it takes while striving to achieve this objective as early as possible.”

The meeting on June 24 was the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since Aug. 5, 2019, when the Centre abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 was notified by the government on August 9, 2019, paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.

The Act provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission.

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Amrita Das and Saptak Datta. Map by Urvashi Makwana)

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