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Ex-separatist leader Sajjad Gani Lone 'pleasantly surprised' after meeting PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Former separatist and People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the two are believed to have discussed the possibility of his working with BJP after the
PTI November 10, 2014 22:12 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Former separatist and People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the two are believed to have discussed the possibility of his working with BJP after the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lone maintained after the meeting that he had apprised the Prime Minister as a Kashmiri about the difficulties being faced by the people of the Valley due to the September floods.

"I came as a Kashmiri to meet the Prime Minister and I was pleasantly surprised with his down to earth personality, his vision about bringing in investments into the state," Lone told reporters after a half-an-hour meeting with Modi.

However, sources in the know of the developments claimed the meeting discussed the possible scenario post elections and how People's Conference and BJP can work together.

The meeting with Modi comes after Lone, whose brother Bilal is an executive member of separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference, had consultations with BJP leaders including Ram Madhav.

Lone has decided to revive People's Conference founded by his father Abul Gani Lone, who was killed by Pakistan-based militants, and his party is contesting from 12 seats in Kupwara and Handwara.

After fielding proxy candidates in 2008 elections, Lone had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but finished at fifth place. He did not contest this year's Lok Sabha elections but fielded a candidate who failed miserably.

BJP, which has launched an ambitious plan for 44-plus for Jammu and Kashmir, is also looking for small parties and independent candidates, especially from the Valley, as allies in a bid to achieve the goal.

Today's meeting, according to state political observers, was one such in the series.

Lone will be fighting against sitting MLA Chowdhury Mohammed Ramzan in Kupwara constituency.

Lone, however, evaded the question whether the meeting was a follow-up of his earlier discussions with BJP leaders including J P Nadda (now Union Health minister) and Madhav.