STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Asserting that the Congress was very much part of their grouping, People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) president Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said they would fight the DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir “together”, but there was no official word on it from the national party.His remarks came a day after the Congress announced its decision to put up candidates for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections.Abdullah said that J-K Congress president G A Mir came to meet him today and said “we are fighting the elections together .Abdullah, who was speaking to reporters at Raghunath Bazar in the heart of the city, was asked whether the Congress which was a signatory of the Gupkar declaration has separated from the alliance since it has not attended any of its meetings so far.Where have they separated? There should be no misconception. The Congress is part of the alliance and we are fighting the (DDC) elections together, the National Conference leader replied.When his attention was drawn to Mir’s statement on Saturday that his party is fighting the DDC elections and putting up candidates, the former chief minister quipped, When you heard this yesterday was different and today Mir sahib came to meet me and said we are fighting the elections together.Chief spokesperson of Congress Ravinder Sharma, when contacted, said Mir made a courtesy call to Abdullah and there is no official statement on the meeting .The PAGD — an alliance of seven mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir seeking the restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status — announced on Saturday that it would contest the DDC polls unitedly.In response to another question about several exit polls predicting a big win for RJD led Mahagathbandhan in Bihar assembly elections, Abdullah said, There is a difference between real polls and exit polls.”When the real polls get over, we will talk, he said.Abdullah said he is praying for more pilgrims to visit the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills and that it is beneficial for the economy of Jammu and Kashmir.“We want more pilgrims to come to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine and it is possible that our problems, as well as the problems of the pilgrims, will get resolved, he said.
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