People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone on Friday claimed that the proposed alliance between the PDP, NC and the Congress was “opportunistic” and was aimed at keeping the third front out of power. On Wednesday, Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Prior to this, the PDP-NC-Congress combine had staked claim to form the next government in the state. Lone too had staked his claim, and was supported by the BJP and “more than eighteen other elected members” of the state. “We are here to stay, and in the next election, there will be change at the top,” he said.
Speaking to the media at his Srinagar residence Friday, Lone said, “They (The PDP and the NC) say that they came together to save Article 370, along with who? The Congress? (There were) 52 amendments, all by Congress, 90 per cent of the erosion (of Article 370) was done by Congress. So who were they saving us from?” He said that the Kashmir issue is “for the government of India to decide. Not our Assembly, we can only facilitate.” He said that if the other political parties are not willing to accept Governor’s decision, they should challenge it in the court. “Let them go to court, I think they have a good case. I’m sure the court will give them relief and I promise you we will prove the numbers on the floor of the House.”
Reiterating that his party’s efforts are a movement for change, Lone said that there is a “beeline from all sides” to join him. He also said that if aligning with the BJP is a sin, “then it was first committed by Omar Abdullah. He was NDA’s poster boy,” adding that even Mehbooba Mufti shared power with the BJP for three years and saw nothing wrong with it.
Lone alleged political parties in the state were given “elections to win on a platter, given power to consolidate their base and now they talk about democracy”. He said that the three parties have failed to keep the third front out and they will go to the people’s court as the “new alternative”, adding that Article 370 is sacred for the People’s Conference.
Responding to allegations of horse trading, Lone said, “How will I have the money when they’ve been in power for fifty years?”