Sajjad Lone quits over portfolio


Jammu: Barely a day after taking oath as a minister in the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir, Sajjad Lone of the People’s Conference today resigned from his post citing dissatisfaction over his portfolio.

The younger son of late People’s Conference leader Abdul Gani Lone was sworn in as a minister in Mehbooba Mufti’s government for the second time. There were reports of Lone being unhappy with the portfolio decided for him by the Bharatiya Janata Party and that he was contemplating a serious reaction to the “low key” department handed to him in the BJP-PDP dispensation in the state.

Lone was allotted the Department of Social Welfare in the newly formed J&K government. However, he was conspicuous with his absence in the civil secretariat on Tuesday after he attended the council of ministers meeting that the Chief Minister presided over.

Sajjad is the younger son of Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone who was assassinated on May 21, 2002, by militants in Eidgah ground of downtown Srinagar. His father’s killing was a turning point for Lone and though he continued in Hurriyat Conference, he was accused by hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani of fielding proxy candidates in the 2002 Assembly polls.

This is the second time that Lone has been given a raw deal. When the BJP-PDP alliance formed government last year, he was given the responsibility of the Animal Husbandry department, a move which reportedly upset him immensely. His party had issued a veiled threat that it may consider quitting the ruling coalition of PDP-BJP in Jammu and Kashmir. Lone was convinced to stay on saying he would be given a better portfolio later but that never happened.  too,

Back then, Lone had refused to take charge of ministry of Science and Technology or Animal Husbandry and instead left for Srinagar where he remained closeted with his associate.

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