Modi will leave behind a glorious legacy in Kashmir; says Sajjad Lone


SRINAGAR: Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave behind a glorious legacy in Kashmir, Peoples Conference (PC) chairman and former minister Sajjad Lone has said that Modi has to measure up to Vajpayee and not to any Congress PM.
In an interview with Indian Express, Lone spoke about his association with BJP and the current political and security situation. He said that governor’s rule is a short-term arrangement to be followed by formation of a new state government through present assembly or holding of fresh assembly polls. Lone said that his party with other like-minded people will provide an alternative to the dynastic rule of National Conference and PDP. He accused NC and PDP leadership of blackmailing centre from time to time and themselves playing apologetic role in mainstream politics.
The former minister said that the boycott or low percentage in recent municipal polls was not a referendum against mainstream parties asking does the higher poll percentage in previous elections mean a referendum against separatist camp. About the deteriorating security situation, he said this phase will also go. He said that talks cannot be held amidst violence particularly when stake holders have nothing to sell or capacity to buy.
Lone said he is proud of his father, Abdul Gani Lone, but he is not him. The times are different and so are the challenges. He alleged that patrons of his father’s killers did not want him to join politics and even the leaders of mainstream dynastic families accused him of neck deep with Indian agencies. He said he was seen as a loser, joker and non-serious person. His winning the last assembly polls and his proximity with Modi and BJP changed the views. He showered praises on Modi for his Kashmir approach.
To a question about reports that a group of PDP rebel legislators are ready to support him ( as chief minister ) if the BJP wants to form a government, Lone said, “As on date, my energies are focused on the Lok Sabha elections. Governor’s rule is a short-term arrangement. Eventually, people’s government is imperative. How and when and if, I do not know. But as a party (J&K People’s Conference), we have to be ready for all possibilities, including elections to the assembly.”