PC leaders unhappy over Sajad Lone’s comment on delimitation proposal

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Srinagar: Cracks have surfaced in the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) following the party chairman Sajad Lone’s statement over the delimitation proposal last month, in which one assembly constituency has been proposed for Kashmir while six for Jammu division. 

Sources told The Kashmir Walla that a group of leaders within the party are unhappy with Lone for his “emotional outburst” and castigating New Delhi on the delimitation proposal. The leaders have shown strong resentment over his comments.

Lone in an interview with a national television channel castigated New Delhi for “biased distribution” of assembly constituencies between Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

In the interview, Lone said that the delimitation should have been based on population.

“It [delimitation] should be the same criteria that you use across India. I cannot believe this is being done. They cannot make BJP A and BJP B. So BJP A will be one candidate and BJP B will be another. I am sure no self-respecting person would like to fight,” Lone said while referring to the Jammu and Kashmir National conference (JKNC) as the “BJP B” party.

Lone insisted that he had to reconsider remaining in the political arena after this humiliation.  

“Let the election process go to hell. It is a shame, a stigma on those who have given their lives for India. I am talking about Kashmiri Muslims. There are at least 20-30 thousand people who are in graves and have given their lives for India. This is how you treat them, you disable them, deprive them,” he said.

While speaking to The Kashmir Walla, a senior leader of the party, wishing anonymity, said that the Jammu Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) chairman got carried away in his media interviews after the delimitation proposal report was made public. He questioned the JKPC Chairman’s “hardline stance” on the issue. 

“Look at the reaction of other parties. Their response was fairly subdued and cosmetic. They merely issued a few statements for public consumption without sincerity. Even the protests were distinctively cosmetic and on the expected lines,”  he commented.

Another JKPC leader wishing anonymity said that Sajad Lone’s utterances have put other leaders in a difficult position after confronting New Delhi. 

“What was the need for Mr. Sajad Lone to react so harshly? His utterances have put the future of the party and individual leaders in danger. Does he think he is such a big leader that he can now publicly and blatantly afford to take confrontation with New Delhi? No leader in J-K has the stature to confront New Delhi in such a brazen manner,” he said. 

He further said that the disgruntled leaders have decided to let their apprehensions known to the chairman. 

“This party is not his estate, he can’t thrust his views and emotions on the rest of us. We will have a frank debate with him on the issue at the earliest given opportunity,” the party leader added. 

Following Lone’s comment, reports about the downsizing of security of some JKPC leaders have also emerged. The incumbent BJP government in Delhi has reportedly not taken his comments in good taste and is irked by his “outburst”. 

JKPC Youth President Sheikh Mohammed Imran said that he was completely unaware of the issue. 

“Yes, like in any family, there are some disagreements within the party especially after JKPC chairman’s reaction over the delimitation proposal. But the chairman has the final authority on all party matters and the party leaders are duty-bound to follow his line in letter and spirit,” Imran told The Kashmir Walla.

However, despite several attempts, Lone wasn’t available to comment on the issue.

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