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Sajad Lone to contest LS polls from Baramulla: PC

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Srinagar: Peoples Conference chief Sajad Gani Lone will contest the forthcoming Parliamentary polls from north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency, the party announced on Monday.

The party also said it would decide on the other two seats in the Kashmir valley in due course, but would not contest any seat in the Jammu region of the Union Territory.

This would be the second time that Lone will test his luck in the Lok Sabha elections.

“In response to the duty assigned to me by the party to hold discussions with party leaders, and ascertain the best possible way forward in the upcoming Parliamentary elections, I have had extensive discussions over the past two weeks. I met all constituency heads and block level leaders,” secretary general of the party, Imran Ansari said in a post on X.

He said that based on his discussion with the party leaders, the Peoples Conference has decided to fight and field a candidate from the Baramulla Parliamentary seat.

The leadership and the rank and file of the party have overwhelmingly endorsed the candidature of the party president Sajad Gani Lone for the Baramulla Parliamentary seat, Ansari said.

“It is with great pleasure that I formally announce that Sajad Lone has acceded to the demand of the party,” the secretary general said.

“We all wish him the best and believe that the fiercest speeches on the floor of the parliament, advocating the just cause of our people will finally be delivered by Mr Sajad Lone after a painful wait of 7 decades. The people of J and K will finally get the chance to roar,” Ansari, an influential Shia leader, said on X.

The party said it would not fight in the Jammu region to ensure that not even a single vote is wasted or diverted through vote division.

“We will take a call about other seats based on our limited resources and also how best to defeat the common enemy of the people of J and K. Apart from Baramulla, we will fight only where we believe we can win on our own and either seek support or give support respectively to any party best suited to defeat the biggest enemy of the people of J and K,” he said, without actually identifying the “biggest enemy of the people of J and K”.

“Our position about the other two seats in the Kashmir region will become clear in the coming week or at most two weeks,” Ansari said.

Lone took the electoral plunge during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 and contested as an independent candidate from the Baramulla seat. However, he lost the election to the National Conference’s Sharief-ud-din Shariq.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he fielded a cop-turned-politician from the constituency who finished second as  NC candidate M Akbar Lone won.

Lone’s PC won two seats in the erstwhile state assembly from Kupwara district in 2014 and he went on to become a minister in the PDP-BJP government.

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