Sajjad Lone

Separatist turned mainstream politician Sajjad Lone came out of self imposed hibernation to address the rally of his party workers in his home district Kupwara. Fluent and media savvy Lone has been keeping a low profile since his defeat in the 2009 parliamentary elections.  Sajjad who made a jump from separatist politics into electoral politics said he didn’t regret his decision even after losing from his family bastion.
He went on to flay separatists, like he did when he was a separatist himself.
He also took a dig at ruling National Conference and the eight per cent inter-district reservation for SCs in the new law banning inter-district government recruitments.
Describing his plunge into electoral politics as a change in strategy not ideology, Sajjad once again said, he needed more time to convince people about the “motives behind the change”.
“The Indian parliament in the given circumstances and limited options that we have, offers a strong platform to voice the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. “Or else they (Separatists) need to either create or discover newer platforms which have the legitimacy and a reach beyond Kashmir.”
Sajjad’s jump into elections was also aimed to infuse a new life into his party cadre and structure, which he believes had suffered over the last two decades. But since his defeat he seems to be cornered in his own constituency by the popular Handwara legislator Engineer Rashid.
Onetime close to Sajjad, Rashid has emerged as a powerful and popular legislator in Kupwara. As a legislator Rashid was initially seen by many as Sajjad’s proxy, until he campaigned against him (Sajjad) in the parliament polls.

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