With the prospect of a hung assembly looming large, former separatist Sajjad Gani Lone today remained non-committal on supporting any party for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir and said he would prefer to sit in the opposition.
“I have all along maintained that we want to maintain a humble entry into the Assembly. It could be one (seat), it could be three, it could be four. We are not looking beyond that. I am keeping my fingers crossed….
“This is my first Assembly election. I will be very honest with you. I am very nervous,” he said.
Lone said he would want to contribute constructively in any government and win again after six years.
“So that is the whole idea. We are very happy to sit in the opposition. I honestly am very rebellious by nature. I would love to sit in opposition and be a very constructive opposition,” he said.
Lone is contesting elections from Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference party, founded by his father Abul Gani Lone, who was killed by Pakistan-based militants.
Lone, who had been a vocal separatist and was now contesting polls from Handwara seat in the Valley, said the idea of boycotting elections “is stupid”.
“When I was a separatist, people would cast aspersions saying he has mainstream tendencies. When I joined mainstream they say he has separatist tendency. The reality is even when I was separatist, I was not very keen on election boycott….
“I would just say one thing that calling for boycott is getting more and more stupid. But equally stupid, if not more, is that if you think voting is an end to all problem in Kashmir,” he said.
Lone said he would like to be a “crusader at the ground level”.
Lone said national parties adhere to national policy.
“The other thing is here the importing problem which are totally non-Kashmiri and are affiliated to rest of India. That discourse or comparative discourse on importing it into Kashmir would be a disaster,” he said responding to a question on extending support to national parties to form the government.
Lone had last month met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi raising speculation that he may support BJP after the Assembly election.