Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Gani Lone Friday challenged the Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti to move court against the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik, even as he alleged that the “so-called grand alliance” was a “coalition of parties responsible for eroding Jammu and Kashmir’s special position and rigging elections.”
Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, days after the Governor dissolved the Assembly citing alleged horse-trading and attempts at engineering defections to form a government in J&K, Lone said: “I have issues with Governor’s decision but I have accepted it. They (PDP) have the problem with the decision. If they have courage, let them go to court.”
Malik dissolved the Assembly Wednesday after both PDP and PC separately staked claims for forming a government in the state.
Rebutting the allegations that he tried to break parties to form a government, Lone, who was flanked by former minister and Shia leader Imran Reza Ansari, said he is “not responsible if leaders of other parties fail to inspire their legislators”.
“Why should I have a problem if somebody wants to join my party? Why should I shut my doors to the new entrants?” Lone asked.
He claimed that he had the requisite numbers to form the government and would have proved it if there was a floor test conducted.
“Whatever I was doing was within the Constitution of J&K. Neither I have drafted the Constitution nor have I made the anti-defection laws,” he said.
Lone said the alliance of NC, PDP and Congress was “opportunistic” and “aimed to stall emergence of ‘third regional force’ in Kashmir”.
“I am not saying that I am an angel. But they are also not angels. What justice they did with Article 370? We all know who eroded it,” he said.
“Who were Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti aligning with to purportedly save Article 370 and Article 35-A? The same Congress which has been the chief architect in every constitutional erosion and machination launched against the State since 1947. Didn’t NC accuse PDP of surrendering state’s fiscal autonomy by implementing GST (Goods and Services Tax) in the State?” he asked.
Lone said the NC-PDP-INC trio has been “the sole authors of every single script ever written to disempower J&K and rob its people of their rights”.
“It was a confluence of hypocrisy, lies and shamelessness and this motley crew of entitled dynasts and pampered princes and princesses coming together is a befitting tribute to the cause of shamelessness,” he said.
He said the Article 370 is “sacred” for his party and “no Kashmiri can even think about doing away with it”.
Coming down heavily on NC and Congress, Lone said these parties were “responsible for thrusting gun on peace-loving Kashmiris by resorting to blatant rigging of polls in 1987”.
“They are giving sermons of democracy today but all of us know who resorted to rigging in 1987 polls. In 1996 government was given to them (NC) on a platter. 2002 was almost a platter. These plattered (sic), built-up, invented and manufactured parties were given power to consolidate their base and now they are talking about democracy.”
He said the efforts of these parties “to prevent emergence of third major regional force have failed”.
“We will go to the people’s court and let them decide,” he said.
He said they will contest the elections to the parliament and the assembly to “rescue the state and its institutions from the clutches of two corrupt, arrogant and disconnected political families who have exploited the people of this state for their personal political empowerment”.
“The people deserve a change and that change cannot be delivered without a massive reorientation in the state’s politics. The emergence of Peoples Conference as a viable, strong and stable alternative is that reorientation”, he said.
Speaking at the presser, Imran Ansari said his entry into PC was “homecoming for me and an emotional milestone”.
“My entry into PC is a homecoming that reflects the emergence of change in Jammu and Kashmir and also an honest desire of like-minded people to save the State from the politics of elitism, self-entitlement and exploitation,” he said.
During the presser, Sajad Lone also released a three-page document about the “systematic erosions” made by NC, Congress and PDP in J&K’s special position.
The document holds Congress responsible for restricting the powers of the State Legislature by applying various constitutional provisions to J&K after 1953.
According to the document, NC after assuming power in 1975 gave concurrence for restricting powers of the Legislature of the State vis-a-vis appointment, powers, functions and duties of the Governor.
In 2002, according to the document, the government headed by late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed amended the Transfer of Property Act to allow sale and transfer of immovable properties in favour of non-permanent resident financial institutions and corporations.