Sajad Lone has less to lose from poll abstention than NC, PDP

By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, Oct 18 : Sajad Gani Lone, the Chairman of Peoples Conference (PC), who recently compared the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir to coronavirus, has taken a 90 degree departure from his earlier stand when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi his “elder brother” and was known for his proximity to the BJP.

Lone had then parted ways with the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government and decided to form an alliance of like-minded people to fight what he called the “dynastic rule of the Abdullahs and the Muftis”.

However, his proximity to Delhi had become doubtful immediately after August 5 last year when he joined chorus with other regional mainstream parties to oppose the scrapping of J&K’s special status.

MS Education Academy

Lone has now joined the alliance for implementation of Gupkar Declaration which seeks restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 position and restoration of statehood for J&K.

The alliance includes the Abdullahs’ National Conference, Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement of Shah Faesal, the Awami National Conference and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

Lone has maintained that his ideological closeness with other regional political parties owes itself to the months of detention these leaders were placed under after August 5 last year.

He has also said that the alliance forged for the restoration of Article 370 would put pressure on the Centre so that “they return to us what genuinely belongs to us”.

He claims that during the alliance’s fight for restoration of Article 370, the alliance will go beyond the courts, but stops short of saying what this will actually entail.

Although all the parties in the alliance for implementation of J&K’s special status are firm that Articles 370, and 35A and statehood must be restored so that these parties can start the halted political process, yet none of them has so far said they won’t fight the Assembly elections unless the Gupkar Declaration is implemented.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, of the NC, has only said he would not fight the Assembly elections personally if these are held when J&K is still a Union Territory.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday that restoration of statehood for J&K is just round the corner and that the same can happen soon.

For Lone to stay away from the Assembly elections as and when they are announced without restoration of Article 370 would definitely not be as costly as it would for the NC and the PDP, two major political parties in the alliance for implementation of Gupkar Declaration.

The NC is the largest political party in J&K with its cadre and units spread across the two divisions of the Union Territory.

The PDP might look apparently decimated because of the number of party leaders who deserted it, yet it is the second largest after the NC in the Gupkar Declaration group.

Political analysts believe while Sajad Lone, the ANC headed by Khalida Shah and the JKPM which was formed by former bureaucrat Shah Faesal, who has since announced stepping out of politics, can afford to remain away from Assembly polls, the same would not be possible for the NC and the PDP.

“Ghoda ghas se dosti karega to khayega kya (If the horse befriends fodder, what will he eat to survive),” said a political observer here.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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