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GOWHAR GEELANI | 28 JUNE, 2015

Abdullah And Lone Tussle On Twitter

New Friends (Courtesy: Indian Express)


SRINAGAR: Twitter becomes the new political battleground for Jammu and Kashmir former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, and cabinet minister in the current PDP-BJP coalition government, Sajad Lone.

The online ‘blame game’ contest featuring the duo started after Sajad Lone’s recent interview appeared in the Economic Times, in which the Peoples Conference president and Minister for Sheep and Animal Husbandry ridiculed Omar Abdullah and his party, National Conference.

He argued that “he (Omar) is someone who has been reduced from 60 seats in 1996 to 15 seats in 2015 in the assembly. Rather than ponder, why he went there, he is picking up non issues. I really thought he would take 21 seats, had he not surrendered. He is not a good administrator.”

Lone had said this in response to a question regarding Abdullah’s jibe that ‘Nagpur is the new capital of J&K’.

After reading Lone’s interview, Abdullah did not hold back and launched himself into diatribe on Twitter, tweeting, “And for this all Sajaad got was a few sheep & goats to look after! I’m sure the RSS will help next time around!!!” Reacting to Abdullah’s infuriating tweet Lone too unleashed himself on the social media space.

He tweeted: “@abdullah_omar oh I forgot I have renewable energy too which ur Dad had in the UPA regime.”

Lone had admitted in the interview that he “liked the BJP since Vajpayee’s era.”

“I was close to that setup. They really took care of me, especially regarding my security. I played a very big role behind the scenes. Mr. Dulat (former R&AW chief) was in PMO then. I had the time to contribute and make way for dialogue process. Because of all this I was labelled as an Indian here,” PC chairman had said in the interview.

After the 2002 assembly elections Lone swore on the Quran, saying that he did not field any proxy candidates.

Octogenarian leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had alleged that Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference had fielded proxies in the elections.

Lone then unsuccessfully fought parliamentary elections and in 2014 his party won two seats in the assembly elections.

“I never took Quran in my hands to swear that I would not contest elections. What I said was that I have not fielded any proxy candidates. When it comes to fighting elections, other separatists also fought elections, I’m also fighting elections. If Allah will punish me for fighting elections, He will punish them also. If Allah has exempted them from every sin, then it becomes a different story,” he said in 2002 while indirectly refuting Geelani’s claims.

Now after Sajad Lone’s confession in the ET interview that he “played a very big role behind the scenes. Mr. Dulat (former R&AW chief) was in PMO then” Hurriyat chairman SAS Geelani would be feeling vindicated.

Meanwhile, Lone also advised Omar Abdullah, MLA from Beerwah, Budgam, against jumping to conclusions.

Lone tweeted: “@abdullah_omar M happy with what I am doing. And wish u had read the whole interview rather than jumping into the frame to join the trolls.”

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