Sajjad Lone meets Modi - Mission 50+ for BJP now in Kashmir

It seems former separatist and the leaders of People's Conference Sajjad Lone is the latest one to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi's fan club. After meeting PM Modi on Monday evening in the National Capital, Lone said, ' The PM is a great human being. I was pleasantly surprised with his down-to-earth personality, his vision about bringing in investments into the State,' adding, 'I could not make out whether I am talking to the PM or my elder brother.'

While this statement has fuelled speculations amid various quarters, it surely reflects the situation at ground Zero. While people are fed up of the Congress and the regional parties like national Conference (NC), People’s Democratic party (PDP), they are tired of politics of vested interest. This has helped the politicians prosper, while condition of people in State worsened. Prime Minister Modi’s commitment for development and image as a go-getter and that he is a hard-task master has raised hope among people and the popularity of BJP has surely been rising.

The way flood relief has been conducted in the State, has also been a reassuring experience for them.

It was reported that Sajjad Lone has decided to revive the People's Conference (PC), which was founded by his father Abdul Gani Lone, who was killed by terrorists.

People’s Conference is contesting 12 seats in Kupwara and Handwara.

Lone said that Modi didn’t speak to him about the elections at all.

He (Modi) spoke freely. He told me that he would take a personal interest in Kashmir. He said I didn’t go to Kashmir four times until now because of politics. He told me that he truly wants Kashmiris to live a life of happiness and dignity and that he will keep on going to Kashmir.

Lone also told the Press that the prime Minister didn't raise contentious issues like Article 370 or the peace process. He said, 'I only told him that he should use his good offices so that people can live with dignity…I asked why couldn’t Government of India make Srinagar a smart city. He said it was a great idea but it has to go through a process. I told him about the need of a highway connecting north Kashmir which could only become a reality if it is done under a Central scheme – he promised to discuss it…When I talked about need for urbanisation and tourism infrastructure, there was a hint of excitement in his eyes'.

Way back in the 1990's, when the seperatists had murdered his father, Sajjad Lone had sworn on the Quran during a Press conference that he would never contest elections. His party's political manifesto,“Achievable Nationhood.' talked about 'earned sovereignty.' He spoke about a Muslim Kashmir and floated the idea of 'an opt out option' for the three Hindu-majority districts in Jammu.

However, a few days ago, he said that People's Conference would contest the Assembly elections on its own and would decide on any alliance only after the election results are declared.

The BJP is aiming at its best performance ever in this month’s J&K elections. It has revised its election slogan from Mission 44+ to Mission 50+ and Lone’s meeting with the PM Modi clearly indicates the party’s rising popularity will turn into votes and the BJP can play a decisive role in building of the State. They surely see a possibility in forming the next Government.

The 44-plus seats gives BJP a majority to form the Government in the 88-member J&K Assembly. The BJP’s best ever performance was in the 2008 elections when it got 11 seats. The BJP draws its confidence from its best ever performance in this year's General Elections when it had won 282 of 545 seats and also from its recent successes in elections in other States like Haryana and Maharashtra.

The meeting comes ahead of J&K Assembly elections beginning November 25.

Courtesy Niti Central


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