Calling the PDP-NC-Congress combine an “opportunistic alliance”, People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone on Friday said his party along with BJP’s support was the new alternative in Jammu and Kashmir and that they were ready for fresh elections.
Asserting that tying up with BJP was not a crime, Lone said PDP and the National Conference considered J&K their fiefdom and would never allow any other group to emerge.
“PDP-Congress-NC formed an opportunistic alliance to stall government of the third front led by People’s Conference. We are the new alternative. And we will go back to the people to prove it,” Lone said at a press conference in Srinagar. He also conceded that a PDP, NC and Congress alliance took him by surprise.
“I had heard about the talks for the formation of the (PDP Congress NC) alliance but never believed it would actually happen,” he said.
A day after state Congress president GA Mir questioned BJP’s alliance with Lone, the People’s Conference chief said NC chief Omar Abdullah was once a poster boy of the Vajpayee government and Mehbooba Mufti was in alliance with the saffron party for three years.
“If aligning with BJP is a crime, then it is Omar Abdullah who first committed this crime. He was once the poster boy of NDA. Madam Sahiba (Mehbooba Mufti) was also in power with them for 3 years. But when we do it, it’s wrong,” he said.
In a virulent broadside against Lone, Mir asked the BJP if the former separatist had been “delinked from the ISI”. “I want to tell their (BJP) leader in Delhi that the combination you were moving along and the person which the BJP was projecting (as CM)… when did he get delinked from the ISI. Have you taken a certificate for him? When someone supports you, you think he is a nationalist,” Mir told reporters on Thursday.
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. However, the move was thwarted by Governor Satyapal Malik in a late evening order dissolving the Assembly. Lone had claimed the support of 25 BJP MLAs and 18 other legislators besides two MLAs of his party.
While maintaining that it would have been impossible for parties with “opposing political ideologies” to form a stable government, Governor Satya Pal Malik claimed on Thursday that “extensive horse-trading” was going on in the state.
Shrugging off charges of horse trading, Lone said he had no money power and it was PDP and NC that had been in power for the past fifty years. “How will I have the money when they’ve been in power for fifty years?” he said.