Difficult to ally with BJP after Article 370 abrogation: Sajad Lone

SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) President Sajad Lone said that it will be difficult to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of state into two union territories three years ago.

The sole reason I would go into elections today would be to get my statehood back and I will do what it takes to get that, Lone said in an interview to The Print.

“It’s difficult to ally with them (BJP) after what they have done. But we would personally strive to get together and vote for statehood. That’s immediately on the mind because no development, nothing can be done until and unless we get our statehood back,” he said.

“There is no space for politics here (Jammu and Kashmir), compared to the rest of India, where people have (elected) MLAs, Assembly. The rest of the country gets to decide what to do. We don’t. Someone else decides for us. That’s why I think of myself as a once-upon-a-time politician, because there was a time when there was politics in J&K, when people would elect their people. And I call myself a ‘muted bystander’ because speaking the truth is a bit scary here,” he said.

“In the current administration, there are people without the supervision of an MLA, without the supervision of a chief minister, without the supervision of a minister. Which other bureaucrat in the entire country would have this power?” he said.

The JKPC president also said that “we should get our Article 370 back. It has been done (away) by a brute majority. The only other option (to reverse it) we have is the court”.

Many political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have also raised the demand for restoration of statehood.

Article 370 was a special status for the state of Jammu and Kashmir that allowed it to have its own constitution and special powers was scrapped by the Government of India on August 5, 2019 and state was bifurcated into two union territories.