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3 former legislators join Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference

Welcoming Bashaarat Bukhari, Khurshid Alam and Peerzada Mansoor Hussain into the party fold, Sajjad Lone said that People’s Conference will immensely benefit from their experience in politics and public life
By Mir Ehsan
PUBLISHED ON MAR 29, 2021 04:47 PM IST
People's Conference chief Sajjad Lone. (REUTERS)

Three former legislators, including former minister Bashaarat Bukhari, joined Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference on Monday.

The latest in the line of leaders to join the People’s Conference are Bukhari, and former legislators Khurshid Alam and Peerzada Mansoor Hussain.

Bukhari had resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) soon after the PDP-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government fell in 2018 and joined the National Conference hoping to contest elections on the party’s ticket from Sangrama. However, he resigned from National Conference last month. Former legislator Alam and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s former political advisor Hussain also resigned from the party earlier this month.

Welcoming Bukhari, Hussain and Alam into the party fold, Lone said that People’s Conference will immensely benefit from their experience in politics and public life.

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“I welcome Basharat Bukhari sahib, Mansoor Hussain sahib and Khursheed Alam sahib into the People’s Conference. They are experienced and mass-based politicians who will, in the coming decades, play a pivotal role and contribute to the politics and welfare of Jammu and Kashmir. Their political acumen and experience will immensely benefit the party. I am hopeful that these leaders will continue to work for the cause of people and help navigate them through these extraordinary and troubled times,” he said.

Hussain emphasised on working to bring Jammu and Kashmir out of situational uncertainty and turmoil.

“We will tirelessly carry forward the legacy of the party and implement its vision for peace, dignity, development and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Alam also expressed his pleasure at joining the People’s Conference.

“I am looking forward to participate and contribute to this overall change by working under the leadership of People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone”, he said

Earlier, former Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Muzaffar Baig had joined the People’s Conference.

The People’s Conference, after leaving the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), has been trying to expand its base across Jammu and Kashmir.

According to political experts, the entry of Baig and other leaders has given the party a boost. Baig, the former patron of PDP and a former MP from Baramulla, left the party after they denied his wife a ticket in the District Development Council (DDC) elections. Baig is the senior-most leader to join the People’s Conference in the recent past.

The People’s Conference contested DDC elections as part of the PAGD and won eight out of 12 seats in Kashmir. However, after its exit from PAGD, the party got ahold of two important District Development Councils—Baramulla and Kupwara.

Party general secretary and prominent Shia leader Imraz Reza Ansari hinted several leaders will join the party soon and even resigned from the post of general secretary to make way for other senior leaders; however, Lone didn’t accept his resignation and praised him for his magnanimous attitude.

According to political analysts, the emergence of the People’s Conference could dent the chances of Apni Party, which is trying to lure former legislators and leaders. Altaf Bukhari formed the party last year. Both Apni Party and People’s Conference have attracted a majority of leaders from the PDP. Mufti, last week, blamed the Centre for trying to break her party.

“GOI is trying to dismantle PDP by luring & threatening its members. Investigative agencies like ED are being used to intimidate me. To make matters worse, Im being denied of my fundamental right to a passport. If this isn’t political vendetta then what is?,” tweeted Mufti soon after she was questioned by Enforcement Directorate in Srinagar.

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