J&K's Political Parties On Back Foot Since Aug 2019: Sajad Lone

Peoples Conference chef Sajad Lone | KO file photo

Srinagar- People's Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Lone on Sunday said the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have been on the back foot since the Centre revoked the erstwhile state's special status in August 2019, but their time to "play on the front foot" will come soon.

Speaking to reporters after vice-chairman of District Development Council (DDC), Kupwara, Farooq Ahmed Mir joined the PC, Lone said the mainstream parties in the union territory are powerless as on date.

On the disappointment among some political parties from Jammu and Kashmir over the outcome of the June 24 meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said he did not have any expectations from it in the first place.

"Things do not remain the same and situations change. After August 5 (2019), the Kashmiri society and the polity the mainstream parties we are on the back foot. But, history is a witness, no society remains on the back foot forever. God willing, our time to play on the front foot will come and will come soon," Lone said.

"...it is a long game. Nothing started on August 5 and nothing ended on August 5. Things will go on, politics will go on," he said.

Responding to a question, the PC chairman said there is simmering anger among people against the decisions taken by the Centre on August 5, 2019 and it is "very dangerous".

"Anger is everywhere against the leadership. There is no place in the world where there is no anger against the existing leadership. Yes, our role is there (to defuse the anger), but as on date, we are powerless, we cannot do anything," he said.

On the outcome of the June 24 meeting of J&K's mainstream parties with Modi, Lone said, "Disappointment after August 5 has galloped. I did not have any disillusionment about the all-party meeting. It was a social interaction, a political interaction and an exchange of ideas. I did not expect anything from the meeting."

"I did not think we could get anything from the meeting and I do not hold anything against them (other political parties) for expecting something from it and believing that it has not unfolded," he said.

The PC chairman said though the scope of the meeting was limited, he hoped that the Centre would follow it up with something concrete.

"The need of the hour is that there should not be a communication gap between Delhi and Srinagar. It is very imperative that communication goes on," he added.

Welcoming Mir into the party fold, Lone said he has a lot of struggle behind him and is widely respected by the people in his area.

"He has a lot of goodwill and is widely respected for the work he has done for his people. He secured more than 10,000 votes, the highest by any candidate in the Kashmir valley in the DDC elections. A number of prominent political leaders are joining the caravan of change," the PC chairman said.

Lone said he is confident that his party will be able to help the people of Jammu and Kashmir navigate through these difficult and challenging times.

Mir said it is a matter of satisfaction that the PC is emerging as a formidable political force in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said he genuinely believes that Lone is the only leader capable of taking the people of J&K out of the current situation.

"I will work alongside the party's rank and file to ensure that the party's flag flies high across all regions of J&K," he said.

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