Sajjad Gani Lone departure can’t dent our mission, says Gupkar group

Express News Service
SRINAGAR: A day after Peoples Conference pulled out of the Gupkar alliance, the coordinator of the now six-party tie up Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi said that Sajjad Lone’s departure does not affect the grouping as their “objective is stronger than individual parties”.

Speaking to TNIE, Masoodi, who is also an NC Lok Sabha MP, said, “Objective, not parties, are important. People come and go, but our fight for Article 370 will continue.” 

The Gupkar alliance was formed by seven parties in October last year to fight for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, which were scrapped on August 5, 2019.

Masoodi said Sajjad, who was the PAGD spokesman, did not raise any issues with the alliance leaders during the DDC poll, which was the first major electoral exercise in J&K after the revocation of Article 370.

The Gupkar alliance had emerged as the single-largest group with 110 seats, while BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats. Masoodi said that 48 hours before quitting the alliance, Sajjad at his hometown of Handwara had said that there was no difference within the roup.

On the allegations raised by Lone that proxy candidates were fielded, Masoodi said, “Sajjad’s party had the highest strike rate in the polls at 80 per cent. Had the alliance parties fielded proxy candidates, such a high strike rate was impossible.”