Sajad Lone to PDP, NC: Go to court, I have the numbershttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-kashmir-assembly-dissolved-sajad-lone-mehbooba-mufti-omar-abdullah-5460276/

Sajad Lone to PDP, NC: Go to court, I have the numbers

“It will be a blessing in disguise for us. I am confident they will not have the requisite numbers. I don’t think they will approach the court because their sole aim is to save their families (Muftis and Abdullahs) from rebellion against their leadership”.

Sajad Lone to PDP, NC: Go to court, I have the numbers
Sajad Gani Lone was in London when the three parties joined hands – a move thwarted by Governor Satyapal Malik in a late-night order dissolving the Assembly. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone Thursday dared the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party to go to court against the dissolution of the House and get it reversed because that will be a “blessing in disguise for us.” Speaking to The Indian Express, he said that his BJP-supported combination was in favour of a floor test because he’s confident he has the requisite numbers.

While arch rivals PDP and NC had come together with the Congress to stake claim to form a new coalition government in J&K, Lone too had pitched his case. He was in London when the three parties joined hands – a move thwarted by Governor Satyapal Malik in a late-night order dissolving the Assembly.

Former Chief Minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed the new combination of PDP, NC and Congress has 56 legislators which is 12 more than the requisite 44 mark. “Let them approach the Supreme Court and get this (dissolution of the Assembly) reversed,” Lone said. “It will be a blessing in disguise for us. I am confident they will not have the requisite numbers. I don’t think they will approach the court because their sole aim is to save their families (Muftis and Abdullahs) from rebellion against their leadership”. He said that “all the BJP legislators were ready to support his claim”.

“There was a momentum building up in J&K for change and whatever I was going to do was within the ambit of legality and the Constitution. If the Constitution permits a grouping of a particular size (break away from a party), why wouldn’t it be availed of,’’ he said. “We had the numbers but, unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance”.

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For several months, Lone was working on stitching a new coalition with BJP support.  “It (last night’s developments) seems to be an accident. I have issues with the dissolution. Governor took a decision and I have accepted it,’’ he said.

Explained: Making of an unlikely alliance

Referring to Mufti and Abdullah, Lone said: “The two dynasts yet again…got together not on the basis of any ideology but to keep a rising regional force out. They made a statement they have come together to protect Articles 370 and 35 A. I want to ask one question – Is the same Congress that has eroded 90 percent of Article 370 supposed to provide protection to Article 370? Saving Article 370 from Congress would have been a more apt explanation,” he said.

“These dynasts are backed by ill-gotten money, collected through loot during the last four decades are scared of any new emerging regional force. Their (PDP, NC) act of togetherness yesterday makes it clear that they have been looking after each others’ misdeeds, when in power”.
Lone alleged that PDP and NC were lying about numbers. “The emperor and the empress get together to keep the third regional party out. They hadn’t talked to their MLAs.their MLAs were issuing statements against each other…a floor test would have exposed it all,’’ he said.

Lone denied that the Centre had intervened. “If the BJP wanted to intervene, they could have helped us but they left it to the Governor to take a decision,’’ he said. “…this is for the first time that the Central government has not intervened even where their local unit was supporting us”.

Read: JK Governor justifies dissolving Assembly, says MLAs were getting terror threats

He said that his combination’s focus now is elections. “We will see these dynasts in the battlefield of elections soon. We will go with agenda of development, we will not lie to people…our endeavour would be to replace their delusions with attainable dreams,’’ he said.
Referring to the BJP’s claim that the new opposition alliance had received instructions from Pakistan to push for formation of the government, Lone said: “…it is an accepted fact, a rule and not an exception, that these two dynasts have always had contacts across the border – they have mastered the art of swinging it both sides.”

Asked if he had evidence to back his claim, Lone said: “When such contacts take place, it is all clandestine… there is no receipt given or taken. There have been phone conversations, Whatsapp calls…These families have maintained strong connections on either side”. He said that his combination will fight the new election “to overthrow these dynasties of power sharing” and “highlight the loot and plunder (by these families) over the last four decades”.