Two former Peoples Democratic Party leaders and a National Conference leader on Monday joined the Sajjad Lone-led People’s Conference.
Syed Basharat Bukhari, who is also a former Jammu and Kashmir minister, had quit the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference last month, Hindustan Times reported. He had joined the National Conference after quitting the PDP, following the fall of the PDP-Bharatiya Janata Party government in 2018.
Meanwhile, Khursheed Alam and Peer Mansoor Hussain, who was Mehbooba Mufti’s political advisor, had quit the PDP earlier this month.
Lone, while welcoming the leaders, said their experience would benefit his party. “They are experienced and mass-based politicians who will, in the coming decades, play a pivotal role and contribute to the politics and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir,” Lone was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. “I am hopeful that these leaders will continue to work for the cause of people and help navigate them through these extraordinary and troubled times.”
Bukhari and Hussain said they believed they could serve the people of Jammu and Kashmir better after joining Lone’s party, according to The Kashmir Walla.
Hussain said Lone was a man of principles. Hussain added that he would implement Lone’s vision for peace, dignity, development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir, according to Hindustan Times.
Lone’s party, People’s Conference, had parted ways with the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, in January. He had accused the alliance of fielding proxy candidates despite a common minimum program devised for the District Development Council elections.
A tie-up of six parties, the Gupkar Alliance was formed in October last year with the objective of reinstating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. The alliance consists of the PDP, National Conference, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.