National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday hit back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over his ‘Gupkar gang going global’ comment.

Mufti accused the BJP of using “euphemism” and “stale tactic”, while Abdullah pointed to the “frustration” of the minister at the Jammu and Kashmir alliance’s decision to contest elections. Taking to Twitter, Abdullah said, “I can understand the frustration behind this attack by the Hon’ble Home Minister. He had been briefed that the People’s Alliance was preparing to boycott elections. This would have allowed the BJP and newly formed King’s party a free run in J-K. We didn’t oblige them.”

“Only in J-K can leaders be detained and called anti-national for participating in elections and supporting the democratic process. The truth is all those who oppose the ideology of the BJP are labelled “corrupt and anti-national,” he added.

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Abdullah said that Gupkar alliance is not a gang. “We are not a “gang” Amit Shah ji, we are a legitimate political alliance having fought and continuing to fight elections, much to your disappointment,” he said.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using ‘Gupkar Gang’ euphemism to project Gupkar alliance as anti-nationals.

“Old habits die hard. Earlier BJPs narrative was that the tukde tukde gang threatened India’s sovereignty and they are now using ‘Gupkar Gang’ euphemism to project us as anti-nationals. Irony died a million deaths since its BJP itself that violates the Constitution day in and day out,” she tweeted.

“Fighting elections in an alliance is also anti-national now. BJP can stitch as many alliances in its hunger for power but somehow we are undermining national interest by putting up a united front,” she added.

Continuing her attack on BJP, she tweeted, “BJPs stale tactic of dividing India by projecting themselves as saviours & political opponents as internal & imagined enemies is far too predictable now. Love jihad, tukde tukde and now Gupkar Gang dominates the political discourse instead of like rising unemployment & inflation.”

Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration wants foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that Indian people will no longer tolerate an “unholy global gathbandhan” against national interest.

Taking to Twitter, Shah asked Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi if they support the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration which, he said, insults India’s tricolour.

“The Gupkar Gang is going global! They want foreign forces to intervene in Jammu and Kashmir. The Gupkar Gang also insults India’s Tricolour. Do Sonia Ji and Rahul Ji support such moves of the Gupkar Gang? They should make their stand crystal clear to the people of India,” Shah tweeted.

“Congress and the Gupkar Gang want to take J-K back to the era of terror and turmoil. They want to take away the rights of Dalits, women and tribals that we have ensured by removing Article 370. This is why they’re being rejected by the people everywhere,” he said in another tweet.

“Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and will always remain an integral part of India. Indian people will no longer tolerate an unholy ‘global gathbandhan’ against our national interest. Either the Gupkar Gang swims along with the national mood or else the people will sink it,” Shah said.

Parties including the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Conference and CPI(M), formed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and are fighting the maiden District Development Council (DDC) elections together.

On October 24, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had said that the PAGD has been formed to ensure the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are restored. “All of us united that the pre-August 5th, 2019 position must be restored,” he added.

While Farooq Abdullah was chosen as president of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Mehbooba Mufti was picked to play a role of vice-president.

The DDC polls will be conducted in Jammu and Kashmir in eight phases between November 28 and December 19, and the counting of votes will take place on December 22.

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