SRINAGAR — In the first-ever election in Peoples Conference history, senior politician and former MLA Sajjad Gani Lone was elected as president of the party, which was founded in 1978.
Addressing a news conference here, former minister and head of the party’s election authority, Syed Basharat Bukhari said that Sajjad Gani Lone was today elected unopposed as president of the party. “We have received eight sets of nominations and all of them have proposed the name of Sajjad Gani Lone for the post,” he told reporters as per the news agency KNO.
Bukhari said Lone would be administered the oath of office on November 10 in presence of all 732 members of the party’s electoral college.
Bukhari, who was flanked by senior party leaders Peerzada Mansoor Ahmad and Muhammad Ashraf Mir, said that Lone would soon constitute his new team.
56-year-old Lone took over leadership of the Peoples Conference after the assassination of his father Abdul Gani Lone by militants on May 22, 2002, at Eidgah Srinagar.
Lone contested the maiden Assembly from Handwara in 2014 and defeated his nearest rival by around 5000 votes. Not only Handwara, he also ensured the victory of the party candidate, Bashir Ahmad Dar, from the nearby Kupwara Assembly segment, registering the best-ever performance of the party in its electoral history.
Since his entry into politics, Lone has revived and strengthened PC and made it a pan-Kashmir force. Lone, a vocal supporter of J&K’s special status, was detained on August 5, 2019, and was kept in detention for more than a year.
An Economics graduate from Cardiff University, Lone was selected for Chevening Fellowship but he opted out of the programme due to his engagements.
In 2015, he was also featured in the Khaleej Times list of six Indians who have recently made a mark in their respective fields. Others on the list included Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and Saina Nehwal (athlete).
Lone is married to Asma Khan Lone, who is a postgraduate in International Relations from Cambridge University. Lone has twin sons who recently secured admission to the London School of Economics and the University of California.