Srinagar: Farooq Abdullah is likely to emerge as a “natural choice” to lead the recently formed people’s alliance for Gupkar Declaration, as discussions to the effect are at the final stages, leaders of the alliance told this reporter.
According to them, all circumstances are being weighed minutely and to move ahead, a second-tier leadership is being kept ready and would be the core group of this alliance in the near future. They fear that Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, along with Sajad Gani Lone may be arrested either in some case or under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
According to National Conference insiders, if the people’s alliance goes ahead with its programme in the entire erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, it is likely that Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti may be arrested again. The alliance intends to reach out to the people of Kargil and Ladakh, along with the Jammu region, in order to politically challenge BJP on the ground.
“They would be arrested either under PSA or they can be arrested in pending cases like the ED case or JKCA and recruitment case with ACB about the J&K Bank against Mehbooba Mufti,” a senior alliance leader told this reporter. He said that even Lone may face a case or arrest in the future as the Central government is not happy with the unity of the Kashmiri leadership. Asked how they will try to reach the people with their programme, he said that many options of peaceful resistance were being discussed and they would be finalised only after a broad consensus. While most leaders are tight-lipped about the contours of the protests, insiders suggest that these could be Shaheen Bagh type protests if the political parties agree to it. Earlier on 15 October, in a meeting attended by both Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti it was decided to give the alliance a formal shape and not wait. Insiders said that the people’s alliance leaders were busy creating a vision document and that all parties were giving their inputs on this, including how they should go to the public with programmes to ask for a rollback of all the decisions taken on 5 August 2019.