No crime in aligning with BJP: Sajjad Gani Lone

Kashmir : Sajjad Gani Lone, leader of the People’s Conference, on Friday said that he staked claim to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir as he had the support of the required number of legislators.

“We staked the claim as we had the numbers. Had there been a floor test or had we been told to bring in the numbers, then what is within the purview of the constitution would have happened,” Lone told ANI.

Hours after arch-rivals – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) – stitched up an alliance along with the Congress party to stake the claim of forming the government in Jammu and Kashmir, Lone too said that he had the support of 25 legislators from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and18 other lawmakers.

Lone said that siding with the BJP is not a crime and is good for the state, even as he clarified that his party’s stance on Articles 370 and 35A would not be compromised at any cost.

“If aligning with BJP is a crime, then it is Omar Abdullah who first committed this crime. He was once the poster boy of the National Democratic Alliance. Madam Sahiba (Mehbooba Mufti) was also in power with them for three years. But when we do it, it’s wrong,” said Lone, the chairman of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference.

Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state assembly late on Wednesday, leading to PDP and NC criticising the move. Lone, in a fresh salvo, dared that the foes-turned-friends can move the court if they are unhappy with the governor’s decision.

“If they have any regret then they should move Court,” he said.

Lone’s JKPC has only two legislators, yet they wrote a letter to the Governor staking claim to form the government with the support of other lawmakers.

Lone alleged the NC, PDP and the Congress of abetting terrorism in the state, saying that their activities have acted as a ‘catalyst’ in promoting gun culture in Jammu and Kashmir.