Ex-separatist leader Sajjad Lone meets PM Narendra Modi, calls him big brother

Days ahead of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence on Monday evening.

By Biplob Ghosal | Last Updated: Nov 10, 2014, 22:44 PM IST
Ex-separatist leader Sajjad Lone meets PM Narendra Modi, calls him big brother

New Delhi: Days ahead of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence on Monday evening.

After meeting the PM, the former separatist leader praised Modi's humble attitude and termed him as a very down to earth person.

Showering praise on PM, Lone said, "Modi was so large hearted that it was tough to say whether I was meeting PM of India or my elder brother."

Earlier, Modi-Lone meet had triggered speculations that the former separatist leader may join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Lone, however, dismissed all speculations saying that his meet with PM Modi was a personal one. “I came to meet the PM as a Kashmiri and was glad to know that he is keen on overall development of Kashmir." “The PM wants to make the Valley the most beautiful place in the world,” Lone added.

“I met PM Modi for massive investments in Kashmir, that's all we talked about,” Lone asserted.

Lone's meting with PM Modi comes days after he said that his party would contest the J&K Assembly elections on its own and any post-poll alliance will be decided after the election results are declared.

Interestingly, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav had recently met the ex-separatist leader in Srinagar. However, the outcome of the meeting was unknown.

Lone's party has a strong base in five Assembly seats in Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Son of the slain Hurriyat Conference leader Abdul Gani Lone, Sajjad had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

Before entering the election arena, Lone was part of the Mirwaiz-led faction of the Hurriyat Conference.

Jammu & Kashmir Assembly has 87 seats and will witness five phase elections starting from November 25.

Polling in the hilly state will take place on November 25 for phase 1, December 2 for phase 2, December 9 for phase 3, December 14 for phase 4 and December 20 for phase 5.

Counting of votes for all the five phases will be held on December 23.