ammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha today said he doesn’t consider the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) as “Gupkar Gang”, a term which has been controversial for months now.
“For me nobody is a gang and I am not considering anybody a gang. This question may better be asked to leaders of PAGD whether they are gang,” the Lieutenant Governor said in an interview to TV news channel India Today.
Pertinent to mention here that, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had in November last year called the PAGD alliance as an “unholy global gathbandhan” and coined the term “Gupkar Gang” for them.
Mr Sinha informed that he was even talking to leaders of PAGD and other parties and has remained in touch with them, including former chief minister and National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah.
When asked if he spoke with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, Mr Sinha said, “Not to her personally”. However, he informed that he once replied to an E-mail of Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti. “I met number of other leaders”, the LG said without naming them.
Speaking on holding the Assembly polls in the UT, Mr Sinha promised that Assembly elections will be held after completion of delimitation process. However, he did not made any promise whether the election will be held before or after restoring the statehood to UT.
When asked about an expected date for the polls, Mr Sinha said it is the EC that will announce the elections. “EC is a constitutional body and can take decision independently,” he said adding that situation is under control and conducive to hold elections in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful manner as security forces have an upper hand in the region.
While responding to a question of when delimitation was being held in the country in 2026 what was the need for early delimitation in J&K, the Lt Governor said Jammu and Kashmir is now a Union Territory (UT) and delimitation Act has been passed by the Parliament. “J&K is a UT and it was necessary to increase the seats through delimitation before holding election,” he said.
When asked that some parties alleged that delimitation was being done to increase the seats in Jammu and benefit BJP to have a Hindu CM, the Lt Governor rejected all those apprehensions.
“No educated person will fall into this trap. Delimitation process will be held under delimitation Act passed by the Parliament. Under the Act it will go through a clear process. When people will take part in the process they will understand that it was done in a transparent manner,” Mr Sinha averred.