Congress welcomes Sajad Lone’s decision to contest polls

April 12th, 2009 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, April 12 (IANS) The Congress Sunday welcomed as a positive step the decision of Kashmiri separatist leader Sajad Lone to fight elections.
“The Congress welcomes this development. Why one, separatists can fight from all seats in the state,” senior congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said here.

“This is a clear indication of change in attitude and we see this as a positive development. They must join the election fray,” Azad told reporters.

The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir who was in the state to campaign for his party candidates said everyone who has not been participating in the electoral process must “think and join it”.

Sajad Lone, chairman of the Peoples’ Conference, is the first separatist leader of his stature to embrace the democratic process since the outbreak of militancy in the state over two decades back.

“The decision was not an easy one to arrive at. But I then keenly analysed the ground realities, the desire of the people for progress,” Lone had told IANS after he declared his decision to contest from north Kashmir’s Baramulla constituency.

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