Sajad Lone, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chairperson, on Friday defended his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and said they are ready for fresh elections in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir is expected to go to the polls before May following Wednesday’s dissolution of the state Assembly. Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision came after the Congress, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party floated the possibility of an alliance on Wednesday, claiming they had the support of 56 legislators in the 87-member legislature. Soon after, dissident Peoples Democratic Party leader Sajad Lone had also staked claim, with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Lone said the Peoples Democratic Party, Congress and National Conference had formed an alliance only to keep a “Third Front”, led by his party, out of power, PTI reported. He claimed that he was ready to face the people’s court soon.
Lone challenged Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP to move court if it has the required numbers to form government in the state. “If they [PDP] are so aggrieved, they can go to the court, but they will not because they don’t have the numbers,” Lone told ANI.
He added that the People’s Democratic Party and National Conference consider the state as their fiefdom and will never allow any other group to rule. He addressed reporters with Imran Ansari, who recently quit the PDP. Lone described PDP’s alliance with National Conference and the Congress as an “opportunistic alliance”.
Lone also played down queries about his decision to ally with the BJP. “I have been questioned for tying up with BJP,” Lone said. “It is not a crime. The process of joining the BJP bandwagon started with Omar Abdullah, who was a poster boy for Vajpayee government.”
The People’s Conference also cited Mufti’s alliance with the BJP before the latter pulled out of the alliance. Lone dared Mufti to prove her majority on the floor of the House. “I would have proven my majority if given a chance,” he said.
Malik, who took charge of the state in August – two months after it was placed under governor’s rule following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to end its alliance with the PDP – claimed reasons such as “horse trading” and the impossibility of parties with “opposing political ideologies” forming a stable government to dissolve the Assembly. Governor’s rule is set to end on December 19.