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Sajad Lone’s JKPC gains ground in J&K at PDP’s expense

Last Updated on March 31, 2021 at 10:42 pm

Sajad Lone led Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) is proving to be a major political contender in the region as three new leaders joined it on Monday, including a former minister.

Lone said that it gives him immense satisfaction to announce that Peoples Conference is emerging as a strong political force in J&K. He promised to work with party workers to “ensure that the party’s flag flies high across all regions of J&K”. However, many sceptics are of the opinion that JKPC will have to face many challenges before it becomes a strong political force.

JKPC was earlier a part of PAGD but distanced itself from the alliance alleging that constituent parties fielded proxy candidates. More than a dozen political leaders and workers have joined JKPC since then. All the three leaders who joined were earlier part of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Khurshid Alam and Peerzada Mansoor both have acted as legislators while Syed Basharat Bukhari has served as a minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government.

Bukhari left PDP two years ago to join National Conference (NC) and recently resigned from NC to join JKPC. A couple of weeks ago, PDP’s one of the founding members Muzaffar Baig joined the party. JKPC had a significant influence only in North Kashmir before but as Alam joined, the party will have an influential leader in Srinagar too.

Mansoor is a major political leader in UT politics. He has also worked as a political advisor to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in the past. He left PDP in February. Political experts say that JKPC grew as PDP kept on declining. Many senior leaders of PDP are in jail and Mehbooba Mufti is being attacked from various sides. Her request for a passport was denied by authorities in a recent incident.

A JKPC leader said that rather than competing with PDP, their focus is on NC. He said that upcoming two months are very important for politics in the region as they are gradually gaining more ground. He said that NC has been a major player in J&K politics even before 1947 and they have a strong experienced organisation.