Ready for fresh Jammu and Kashmir elections, says Sajad Lone; accuses PDP and NC of treating state like fiefdom
Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone claimed that PDP — which had also staked claim to form the government on Wednesday — doesn't have the numbers.
Two days after the dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone on Friday said that his party was ready for fresh elections in the state.
Speaking at a press conference, Lone — who had staked claim to form the government minutes before Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the Assembly — said, "We had the numbers, but we have accepted the governor’s decision. We are now ready for fresh elections."
Lone claimed that PDP — which had also staked claim to form the government on Wednesday — doesn't have the numbers. "Let them go to court. I would have proven my majority if given a chance," he said.
Lone had approached the governor claiming that he had the support of the 25-legislator strong BJP and "more than 18" other lawmakers. On his understanding with the BJP, he said, "If aligning with BJP is a crime, then it is National Conference leader Omar Abdullah who first committed this crime. He was once the poster boy of NDA. 'Madam Sahiba' (PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti) was also in power with them for 3 years. But when we do it, it's wrong."
He asserted that the Peoples Conference is a regional party with "regional aspirations", while PDP and National Conference were two dynastic parties which came together treating Jammu and Kashmir like their fiefdom.
"We are here as a part of a struggle. Now some will say that I am also a dynast. My father was in jail for 10 years. I was also in jail. I have come from the ground. I have made a difficult transition," he said. "A dynasty's inherent trait is to centralise power. I think our biggest challenge is we are not able to decentralise our business and government rules. That's why you'll see money is piled up and not spent. Plus, ideologically, they (PDP and National Conference) are lying to people. I can promise you, what I say in Delhi, won't be different from what I say in Srinagar."
He lashed out at Mufti and Abdullah for questioning the governor's move. "For the past five months, they were demanding dissolution of the Assembly. Why are they crying now?" he asked.
The PDP-NC-Congress is yet to announce if they will be approaching court against the dissolution of the Assembly. While Abdullah has said the PDP will take the final call on the matter, both NC and Congress have said they will support the PDP in court.
With inputs from PTI
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