Sajad Lone Eyes J&K CM Post
Sajad Lone full of praise for PM Modi
NEW DELHI: The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ex-Separatist turned mainstream politician Sajad Lone on Monday has raised speculations of the two forging the alliance to counter the growing popularity of the Mufti LED People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said that the meeting was arranged by RSS leader Ram Madhavan, who met Lone in Srinagar. Although Lone said that the meeting was about flood rehabilitation work in the state, sources maintained that the discussion was “political.”
“I had come as Kashmiri to meet Prime Minister of India with list of demands, There was need of help Post disastrous floods in Kashmir, That is all we talked about” said 47 year old Sajad Lone, Chairman People’s Conference to reporters after meeting PM Modi at his official residence at 7RCR in New Delhi.
Lone, who once used to be very vocal against the BJP was all praise for the PM and called him a “great human being.”
“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet the Prime Minister of India, it was a discovery; he is a great human being and very down to earth,” Lone said.
He went on to describe the Prime Minister as his “elder brother.” And claimed that PM Modi “shares our dream” and was very interested in Kashmir and Kashmiris.
“The Prime Minister is very keen to take personal interest in overall development of the state and shares our dream to make it one of the most beautiful places in earth” Lone said.
Meanwhile BJP with mission 44Plus is looking to gain the maximum seats from Jammu, and hopes to do well in Ladakh as well. In the Valley, however, it is working on the free floating leaders to gain entry, and take away even if marginally from the PDP’s growing popularity.
So far BJP has tried to pull in Third front leaders Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) Chief Ghulam Hassan Khan, People’s Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakim Yasin and Awani Itihad Party (AIP) founder chairman Engineer Rashid to strengthen its base in Kashmir valley. However, while the response from the others is muted and with conditions the BJP has managed to win over Lone completely.
The son of Former Slain Hurriyat Leader Abdul Gani Lone, Sajad Lone revived his political career and parted ways with the Mirwaiz Led Hurriyat Conference to contest the elections in 2008. He has not achieved much success, and even in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections from North Kashmir’s Baramulla seat Lone finished in the fifth place. He did not contest the parliamentary elections this year, and fielded close aide Abdul Salam Bajad as candidate who failed miserably.
Significantly, Lone, after his meeting with BJP leaders Ram Madhavan and JP Nadda in Kashmir separately, did not rule out the possibility of a post-poll understanding.
"It will depend on the number of seats we win and whether we matter,"Sajad Lone said Significantly his brother Bilal Lone is still part of the Mirwaiz led Hurriyat Conference asking people to boycott the polls.
According to analysts, BJP is eying on North Kashmir’s 4-5 seats, where Lone can play a crucial role .
“We are living actually in interesting times in Kashmir where more things will be revealed soon,” said senior political analyst Prof Gul Wani.
Wani cautioned that these developments are actually not the “democratization of the Kashmir, it will lead to the state collision”
Meanwhile analysts believe that Lone is eyeing the post of Chief Minister.