‘Let NC support Peoples Conference to avoid split of Muslim votes’

Party chief Sajad Lone highlights economic persecution of the people of J&K

Sajad Lone, chairman of the Peoples Conference (PC), on Saturday asked the National Conference (NC) to support his party if the latter was worried about a division of Muslim votes in J&K.

“The PC is a 45-year-old party. Nobody can accuse us of being created yesterday. We have been victims in the past though. So, if they (NC) think Muslim votes were being divided, let it support us and decide not to fight elections. They (Abdullahs) have been chief ministers — the father, the son and the grandfather. Let a poor man’s son become chief minister now. Let it not be me. Let it be Nizam Sahib or Imran sahib. What is wrong with it? If they support, I will go by their suggestions,” Mr. Lone said.

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Mr. Lone, who quit the Gupkar alliance earlier this year, was responding to remarks from NC leaders that his party was dividing Muslim votes in J&K and could help the electoral prospects of the BJP in the next elections.

‘Need for change’

“People of J&K have been trapped in the post August 5, 2019 situation. The PC will stand up for them in our united quest to retrieve back that is rightfully ours. We at the PC believe that exiting changelessness is a big challenge and an even bigger challenge is navigating a dignified way out of the web of disempowerment,” Mr. Lone said.

He said the current administration, which is a ‘selected administration’ and not an ‘elected administration’, is indulging in economic persecution of the people of J&K, as a sequel to political persecution.

“We at the JKPC reiterate that economic empowerment is essential for political empowerment,” Mr. Lone said.

Meanwhile, another Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former legislator from Bandipora, Nizamuddin Bhat, joined the PC in Srinagar on Friday.

“Based on my decades of experience, I can tell you with utmost certainty that Lone is the only political leader who can honestly and sincerely and without any paradoxes lead the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Bhat said on his decision.

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