J&K: Gupkar signatories form alliance to restore Article 370
Days after the People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti was released from her year-long detention, Jammu and Kashmir politicians floated an alliance to restore J&K's constitutional status as on before August 5, 2019. Last year, the central government had repealed J&K's special status by abrogating Article 370, and split the erstwhile state into two Union Territories—J&K and Ladakh. Here are more details.
Alliance named People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration: Abdullah
"We have named this alliance as the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration," announced National Conference (NC) chief and former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar. Parties that constitute the alliance include the NC, PDP, Communist Party of India (Marxist), J&K People's Conference (PC), J&K People's Movement (JKPM), and Awami National Conference (ANC).
'We aim to restore J&K's constitutional status'
Abdullah said, "Ours is a constitutional battle and we want the government of India to return to the people of the State the rights they held before August 5, 2019. We aim to restore J&K's constitutional status as it existed before August 5 last year." The alliance favors the initiation of dialogue between all stakeholders for the resolution of the J&K issue, Abdullah said.
Announcement made after meeting of Gupkar signatories
The announcement was made after a meeting of signatories of the Gupkar Declaration, convened by Abdullah. The Gupkar Declaration is a resolution issued after an all-party meeting on August 4, 2019, at Abdullah's Gupkar residence. It sought to protect J&K's special constitutional status and fight against any move to dilute it. The next day, the Centre repealed J&K's special status.
Repeal of special status was coupled with crackdown on politicians
Ahead of repealing J&K's special status, all chief political leaders of the former state had been detained. Abdullah and Mufti, who has also served as J&K's CM, were among those arrested. While Abdullah was released in March this year, Mufti was only released on Tuesday. Abdullah's son Omar, a former J&K CM, had also been arrested. He was released in March.
Earlier, politicians had issued joint declaration to restore special status
Earlier on August 22, 2020, the mainstream J&K politicians had issued a joint declaration reiterating their commitment to fighting for the restoration of J&K's special status. Mufti had also backed the resolution over a telephone call with Abdullah.