- Sajjad Gani Lone is the son of Abdul Ghani Lone (the founder of the People’s Conference, who was killed in May 2002) and the son in law of a separatist leader. His wife is a Pak citizen and his brother is still a separatist, but he is now standing as a candidate for the ongoing Jammu & Kashmir assembly elections.
- In spite of his separatist past, Lone has recently met with PM Narendra Modi and has indicated that he would not have any problem helping the BJP achieve their “Mission 44+” plan; that if offered the Chief Minister’s post he would not refuse. He has now claimed that the PDP and the National Conference are getting together and trying their best to defeat the cause of people such as Lone.
- Lone has acknowledged that this is the first time that the army has apologised under the Modi reign and this is one of the justifications that he has offered for shaking hands with such an untraditional ally; if not figuratively at least literally.
- In the past Lone’s father was killed for taking a moderate position and for looking to bring peace to the valley. Now it is Lone’s charge that Omar Abdullah has refused to grant requisite security ; that providing inadequate security has been the government’s way to defeat contestants of the elections. (Source – NDTV)
- Now, most recently, Jammu and Kashmir Sarpanch was shot by suspected militants and he then died in hospital. So clearly there are issues of security that are not being addressed by the authorities.
- Is the lack of security a deliberate tactic that is aimed at preventing election candidates fighting a free and fair election? Is this an underhand and roundabout way of scuttling the election process in J&K?
- Also if separatists are calling for a boycott of elections in J&K who benefits from this boycott? The two most powerful parties in the state, the PDP and the National Conference; Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah stand to gain the most.
- So is the boycott call deliberately not being controlled by the authorities in J&K and are the separatists actually receiving support from the two main parties? Is this because there is a sense that the fewer the number of people who cast their vote for the Jammu & Kashmir elections, the more likely it is that status quo is maintained in the state? Is security deliberately being denied to scuttle free and fair elections in the state?
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