PC will contest alone on all 87 seats: Sajad

Ruling out a pre-poll alliance with any political party, People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Friday said that those responsible for eroding the special status of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be its protectors.
PC will contest alone on all 87 seats: Sajad
File Photo

Ruling out a pre-poll alliance with any political party, People's Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Friday said that those responsible for eroding the special status of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be its protectors.

Lone made these remarks while welcoming former Peoples Democratic Party MLA Abid Hussain Ansari into the party fold.

Addressing a news conference here, Lone, who was flanked by senior PC leader Imran Raza Ansari, said, "We will not have a pre-poll alliance with any regional or national party. We will fight on all 87 Assembly seats. In the near future, you will see a lot of new and old faces will join the caravan of change. We will have a team of experienced people and youth across all regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh."

On Farooq Abdullah's remarks about bringing autonomy resolution if his party is voted to power, Sajad said his party will support it if a white paper is brought on the role of political parties in eroding the state's special status and rigging of 1987 polls.

"When it comes to autonomy, we will hundred percent support it but on one condition: Let us first see who eroded it so that we can keep the eroders away. Parties responsible for eroding the special status are hoodwinking the people by projecting themselves as guardians of J&K's special status. They are lying to the people through their teeth," he said.

"If Sajjan Kumar can be sentenced to life for his role in the 1984 riots, why cannot we fix responsibility for rigging of 1987 elections? This chapter cannot be closed. We have lost one lakh lives after the rigging," he said.

Mincing no words in castigating the National Conference, Sajad said the party did not part ways with BJP-led NDA government in Centre after its autonomy resolution was rejected.

"I honestly think that at this age Farooq Sahab should start speaking the truth. When they had 57 MLAs in 1996, which was more a selection than election, their autonomy resolution was thrown into dustbin. Neither Farooq Abdullah resigned as chief minister nor Omar Abdullah resigned as minister of state for external affairs in NDA government," he said, adding that NC broke its ties with BJP after "Farooq Abdullah was denied the post of vice-president by NDA".

To a question about Omar Abdullah's demand for holding Assembly elections before May 2019, Sajad said he (Omar Abdullah) has no moral right to dictate timing of elections because he had linked polls with the Article 35A.

"Omar used to say he will not fight elections till Article 35A case is decided in the Supreme Court. The issue is still pending in the Supreme Court and yet NC wants to dictate when the elections should take place. So either Omar Abdullah was lying then or he is lying now. We want Omar Abdullah should tell the people when he was lying so that they at least know what their stand on such issues," he said.

He, however, said that his party is ready for elections. "Let the polls be held in February, why to wait till parliamentary elections. The sooner we have an elected government the better it is," he said.

Sajad condemned the civilian killings by forces in Pulwama, saying they should first look at cost and benefits of anti-militancy operations.

"Our stand is clear on the Pulwama killings. There is no confusion about it. Forget politics, I condemn the killings in Pulwama as a human being. They are amongst us. Whenever a security operation takes place, they should look at the cost and benefits first. If seven civilian lives are lost to kill three militants, you have to ask questions," he said.

He reiterated that anti-militancy operations should be called off whenever minor (militants) are trapped.

"If you know a 14-year-old minor is holed up inside (a house) who doesn't know what he is holding in his hands. If you know he is a minor, you should call off operation," he said.

Abid Ansari, who represented Zadibal Assembly segment in last assembly, said he parted ways with PDP "because of dictatorship and nepotism".

"I am happy that I have joined People's Conference. This party was founded by my late brother Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and late Abdul Gani Lone. I have returned to my home today," he said.

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