‘Sajad is my brother, he will remain so; will convene workers’ meet to change my party’s name to avoid confusion’

Bilal Gani Lone, Hurriyat leader and elder brother of People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone, Tuesday said he and his conscience was fully satisfied with the path he chose 13 years ago and that he was planning changing the name of his party to avoid confusion.

Bilal heads a faction of People’s Conference, which is a constituent of Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

Bilal told Greater Kashmir that Sajad “is my brother and he will remain so”.

“I respect his point of view and he respects mine. I believe I am satisfied with my decision that I took some 13 years ago (that of joining Hurriyat). I believe that was my father’s (Abdul Gani Lone’s) path for which he sacrificed his life,” Bilal said.

”I am taking forward the legacy of my father.”

Since Sajad has been openly supporting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and electoral politics in the state, Bilal said he is content being part of the Hurriyat.

Sajad plunged into mainstream politics in 2009 and has been heading his faction of People’s Conference. He recently staked claim to the government in the state by claiming he had numbers and was “ready to face the test” in the Assembly.

PDP, National Conference and the Congress had agreed to form a grand alliance, following which PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti informed the governor that she was staking claim to the government as she has more than 50 members.

Governor Satya Pal Malik, however, dissolved the Assembly.

“There has been confusion prevailing (about People’s Conference). I have convened the meeting of my workers to get their feedback over changing the name of my party. That will take a day or two,” Bilal said.

“I am doing it just to avoid confusion, nothing else. But for that I need to take my people on board. I have a group of committed people with me. Tomorrow, no one should cast aspersions on my people.”

He said a few new names for his party have been picked “but the final authority lies with the people”.

“Let there be a threadbare discussion”, he said. “Let the people know why we are changing the name of our party.”

He said it has been a long time since he and Sajad separated politically.

“I am following my ideology and my brother has been following his own,” Bilal said.


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