Sajad enjoys Delhi’s backing, PDP, NC in tight spot

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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Nov 27: Governor Satya Pal Malik has tried to keep Centre away from the dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly by stating that Sajad Lone would have been the Chief Minister had he listened to New Delhi.
“I didn’t ring up New Delhi to seek their suggestion as maybe they could have told me to allow Sajad Lone to form the government,” Malik said, adding that the state assembly was dissolved as he had “apprehensions” of horse-trading that could have led to killings and chaos in the Valley.
The Governor Malik’s candid admission that Sajad enjoys New Delhi’s support and he could have been the Centre’s best bet in Jammu and Kashmir is an indication that he is going to emerge as strong leader in the Valley in coming days. The dissolution of the Assembly has paved way for the fresh elections in Jammu and Kashmir and these are likely to be held in March or April this year.
An analyst said if Sajad succeeds in roping a few good and strong people there is every possibility about his party Peoples Conference making inroads into the vote banks of National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party in the Valley. “Speculations are already rife that one of the PDP founders Muzaffar Hussain Baigh has decided to say goodbye to PDP and he would be joining the Peoples Conference as it’s patron,” said a source.
He said that Baig’s nephew Javed Baig and his wife Safina Baig would follow the suit and they can emerge as strong PC candidates in the forthcoming elections. “On the other hand Imran Ansari and his uncle Abid Ansari already enjoy the support of their community. MLC Yasir Reshi also is a strong candidate, while a disgruntled PDP leader from Kupwara is reportedly holding negotiations with Sajad Lone to enter into the party,” the source added.
Third Front led by Sajad Lone is almost ready and if he manages to win ten to fifteen seats in the forthcoming assembly polls he could emerge as the strong contender for the Chief Minister’s post.
A politician said, “Since the day Assembly has been dissolved the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has not held any meeting with her former MLAs as she is unsure about the people around her. Most of the PDP MLAs are from south Kashmir, which has become a hot bed of militancy since 2015. This has led to these former MLAs becoming inactive.”
An analyst said that the history stands testimony to the fact that J&K has always been ruled by such people who used to have the “Ashirward” of New Delhi and this time around it seems that Sajad has Delhi’s full support. Even the Jammu and Kashmir Governor has acknowledged it. “This means he could turn the tables on National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party,” the analyst added.

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