Peoples Conference (PC) chairman and former minister Sajad Lone has claimed that the National Conference and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were “confabulating” with each other and that both the parties will form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir.
In an interview with Karan Thapar, broadcasted on The Wire , Lone said the National Conference and BJP are “confabulating” with each other for “at least a year”. As an alleged proof, Lone said that ‘although Omar Abdullah joined Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar none of the Abdullahs nor the National Conference party issued any statement in support of Rahul Gandhi when he was disqualified as an MP.”
He also claimed that Farooq Abdullah attended a meeting called by the government which all other opposition parties did not attend.
Lone claimed that the two parties will fight as opponents and during the campaign accuse other smaller parties (like his) of being BJP allies but then willingly form an alliance thereafter.
Targeting the party, Lone said that Farooq Abdullah and the National Conference are the problem and can never be the solution in Kashmir.
Lone also refuted former Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement (made to The Wire on 14th of April) that the Prime Minister is “ill-informed” about Kashmir.
However, Lone also denied that either he or his People’s Conference would ever ally with the BJP in the future, adding that he had agreed to be part of the PDP-BJP governments between 2015 and 2018 because of what he called his “majboori” and that, he said, no longer applies.
In a 36-minute interview, Lone first spoke with passion and anger about Farooq Abdullah and his alleged role in rigging the 1987 election which, he repeatedly said, was the starting point of disaffection and militancy in Kashmir.
Lone also contradicted and refutes former J&K governor Satya Pal Malik’s claim that the PM is ill-informed about Kashmir. Instead, he calls him “very well informed”.
He cites several examples where the PM was well aware not just of the details of the situation but also the names of officers down to SSPs. Lone also said the Prime Minister has a parallel source of information.
Lone also said that before Malik dissolved the assembly in Srinagar he rang him from London pleading that he should not do so on the grounds that once dissolved it will not be recreated for at least 10 years. He admits he did not have the numbers to form a government but he was pleading that the assembly must not be dissolved because he knew it would not be recreated soon.
During the interview, Lone also said that elections should be held immediately. He also said that restoration of statehood must happen immediately. He said his People’s Conference will fight on its own and will not ally with any party.