Says ‘it’s a long game’, party ready to contest assembly polls
Srinagar: People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone on Sunday said that nothing started and nothing ended on August 5, 2019, as politics in Kashmir is a “long game and will go on”.
Addressing a press conference at Srinagar, Lone said, “The important thing this is that there must be no communication gap between New Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, and the engagement must go on,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said that there may be anger against the leadership in Kashmir, but they are powerless and cannot do anything.
“But we, too, have some role, and we have to safeguard the people and the younger generation, which is also a leadership skill and besides that we need to be patient. We will try our best. There is anger against the present administration as well and anger against the decision of August 5. It is simmering anger, which is more dangerous, but we are aware of it,” he said.
On being asked about the expectations the Kashmiri leadership had with PM’s All-Party Meeting and the follow-up thereof, he said that disappointment among the people and leadership grew since August 5 and he did not have any delusions about the all-party meeting with PM Modi in New Delhi.
“What happened there was social and political interaction and exchange of ideas. I personally did not expect anything from that meeting. It was not like that we would have brought something from there and, as far as I am concerned, I had an idea that its scope was limited. But I just hope that the Centre would follow it up,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said that one should not pass any judgements about loyalty and disloyalty, and one should not try be a hero and act like a god. “There are no holy cows in Kashmir, neither on this side nor on that side,” he said, referring to politicians.
“When people were leaving the PC in 2001-02, nobody asked why people were leaving the party. Why are people asking questions when leaders are joining the PC? Some parties came into being only because of the PC. Why is nobody saying that PCs is a 50-year-old party? PC was never allowed to contest elections and when it was contested, ruling parties resorted to poll rigging. Nobody is talking about this as everyone has become a nationalist Kashmiri, and if everyone is a nationalist Kashmiri then they should ask what happened in 1987,” Lone said.
He said that in 1983, it was expected that PC would replace the National Conference, but the NC resorted to rigging and everyone was aware of it. “Now the situation has changed and what we see today has a link to the past. We will do whatever it takes to usher in a new wave,” he said.
Replying to a question, he said that elections might happen in March or April. “As a political party we have to be ready as elections can happen anytime. New Delhi gives surprises. Someday we might get up in the morning to the news that election notification has been issued. But we are ready for elections,” he said.
He also said that the People’s Conference is a caravan moving towards new change and people are coming to it.
Haji Farooq Ahmed Mir, vice-chairman of District Development Council (DDC) in Kupwara, joined the PC in the presence of Sajad Lone and other senior party leaders at Srinagar.
He had contested the recently held DDC elections as an independent candidate, from Wavoora segment of Lolab constituency. He polled more than 10,000 votes, the highest in Kashmir valley, and won by a margin of more than 5,000 votes, the second-highest margin of victory in Kashmir valley.
As per the party statement, his joining will certainly give an edge to the PC in Lolab assembly constituency and put the party in a dominant position. “Also, with Fayaz Mir having joined the party, the PC has emerged as an invincible party in district Kupwara,” the statement read.