SRINAGAR Former PDP MLA from Zadibal constituency, Abid Ansari, Friday joined the People’s Conference.
Abid’s nephew and influential Shia leader Imran Ansari has already joined Lone’s party. The PC chairman, Sajad Lone, welcomed him into the party and later at a press conference he said that eh party will not enter into a pre-poll alliance with any party for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections and contest all 87 seats.
Abid had raised a banner of revolt against PDP chief and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, saying that she had sidelined the elected MLAs and had instead given important party works to the non-elected leaders. He said that Mehbooba was a dynast and there were only her favourites including her uncle and brother, who were calling the shots in the party. Earlier the PDP had on November 21 staked claim to form a government with the backing of rival National Conference (NC) and the Congress. This was followed by another bid from the two-member Lone-led People’s Conference that claimed the support of the BJP and 18 lawmakers from other parties.
Following the developments, Governor Satya Pal Malik abruptly dissolved the state assembly on November 21 night. “There will be no pre-poll alliance with any party neither a regional party nor a national party,” Lone told reporters here.
The People’s Conference will field candidates on all the assembly seats across the three regions of the state, said Lone, whose party won the mayoral polls in the recently concluded municipal elections in the state with the BJP’s backing.
“We will fight on all 87 seats. Just wait for the coming time, many people will join us whether those who are new to politics or those who have experience Whether it is Pir Panjal or Jammu, Chenab, south Kashmir, central Kashmir or north Kashmir or Ladakh, our candidates will be on all 87 seats, he said.
Asked about his tweet on the civilian killings in Pulwama district in which he said anti-militancy operations by security forces should be called off if there was “even a remote chance of civilians getting killed”, Lone reiterated the demand, saying such questions need to be asked.
“Forget politics, they (civilians) are amongst us. Whenever there is an operation by security forces, they should look at the cost and benefits. What I said was straight from the heart that if you have to kill seven civilians for killing three militants, then you have to ask questions,” he said. Seven civilians died in the district Saturday after security forces allegedly opened fire on a crowd that tried to storm the site of an encounter in which three militants and an army man were killed.
“A 14-year-old kid, who is a minor and he does not know what he is holding in his hand, if you know he is there (trapped), then call off the operation. What is the urgency to do it that time only? Our stand is clear on that,” Lone said.
On NC vice-president Omar Abdullah’s recent tweet calling for holding polls in the state on time, he said the National Conference has no right to give a time-frame for the polls as the party had boycotted the local bodies’ elections earlier.
“We say let the polls should be conducted in February. We have a right to demand so. He (Omar) does not have any right to demand a time-frame because his party did not contest the local bodies’ polls saying till there is no decision on the legal challenge to Article 35A.
“Now, there are two things either Omar lied then or he is lying now. He has to decide whether he lied then when he linked elections with Article 35A or he is lying now, Lone said.
He said People’s Conference’s stand is the Election Commission should conduct polls in the state in February and not wait
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