Sajjad Lone among top 6 Indians

Sajjad was elected to the state assembly from Handwara in 2014. He defeated sitting minister Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan of National Conference.

The Peoples Conference Chairman Sajjad Gani Lone is among six top Indians who made mark in their respective fields in 2015, writes leading daily of United Arab Emirates (UAE) Khaleej Times.

It writes that Sajad Lone has been one of the most remarkable politicians in Indian Politics in 2015. This year he was sworn in as Minister for Science and Technology and Animal Husbandry in Mufti Sayeed-led government in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The People’s Conference Chairman has been an erstwhile influential pro-freedom leader and part of the separatist Hurriyat Conference before making a switch over to mainstream politics. In the state election last year, Lone was elected from the sensitive Handwara constituency, paving way for him to become a minister in the state government,” the Khaleej Times writes.

Born on December 9, 1966, Sajjad is the younger son of Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone who was assassinated on May 21, 2002 by unidentified gunmen at Eidgah in old city here. His father’s killing was a turning point for Lone.

He took the electoral plunge in April 2009 and contested as an independent candidate from Baramulla Lok Sabha seat. The 48-year-old, who married daughter of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front founder Amanullah Khan , spent the next five years to galvanize his party cadres. He gave a miss to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls himself but fielded a candidate from the north Kashmir constituency who lost.

Sajjad was elected to the state assembly from Handwara in 2014. He defeated sitting minister Chaudhary Muhammad Ramzan of National Conference.

Peoples Conference led by Sajjad also managed to win the nearby Kupwara assembly segment as his party candidate Bashir Ahmad Dar defeated three-time National Conference MLA Mir Saifullah. 

Lone’s inclusion in the government from BJP quota did not come as a surprise as his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year ahead of the Assembly polls had fuelled speculations of a tie-up. 

Sajjad did his schooling from the prestigious Burn Hall School in Srinagar. He completed his high school in 1980. He graduated from University of Wales, College of Cardiff, UK in 1989.

The charismatic  Lone is also the author and the propounder of Achievable Nationhood’, which talks about economically single boundary-less Jammu and Kashmir jointly managed by India and Pakistan.

Sajjad an articulate orator became instant hit among youngsters during 2008 and 2010 agitation due to his participation in TV debates. He was also selected for the prestigious British Chevevning scholarship a few years ago.

The other ‘Indians’ who according to KT made a mark in their respective fields this year include Nobel Peace prize winner activist Kailash Satyarthi, nuclear scientist MR Srinivasan who was awarded Padma Vibhushan  , Singer Ankit Tiwari, athlete Saina Nehwal and novelist Amish Tripathi.