New Delhi: People's Conference leader Sajjad Lone, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence here yesterday triggering speculations of his party's pre-poll alliance with the BJP, said on Tuesday that his party will contest assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir alone.
“We are contesting election alone,” Sajjad Lone was quoted as saying by ANI.
The clarification from Lone came in view of widespread criticism of PM Modi for inviting the former separatist leader for talks and sending a wrong message.
After meeting the PM, the former separatist leader had 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."
Lone had yesterday dismissed all speculations of a pre-poll tie up between his party and the BJP, 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.
Interestingly, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav had also 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.