Bilal Shows Sajjad Door, He Won't Leave
14 February 2004
The Indian Express
Srinagar: People's Conference (PC) today suffered a split after the elder son of slain Abdul Gani Lone and the party's representative in Hurriyat Conference, Bilal Gani Lone, expelled his younger brother and party chairman Sajjad on charges of anti-party, anti Hurriyat and 'anti- Lone' activities. Justifying the expulsion, Bilal said: 'I convened a meeting of executive council...All the executive council members were unanimous that Sajjad is involved in anti-party, anti-Hurriyat and anti-Abdul Gani Lone activities. Therefore it was decided that he should be expelled from the party.' Bilal said he visited Handwara, the traditional bastion of PC, to get feedback from supporters of Abdul Gani Lone and they too favoured Sajjad's expulsion to salvage the party's interests. 'All the primary members of the party want to follow the path laid down by Lone and they wanted Sajjad expelled,' he said. Terming the decision as unfortunate, Sajjad said Bilal, being only a working committee member, cannot expel the chairman. 'All the executive council members are with me. Only the chairman can call an executive council meeting and not the working committee member. The decision taken by my brother is most unfortunate. Neither am I contesting polls nor am I fielding proxy candidates,' he said. Sajjad accused former Hurriyat chairman Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat of triggering the rift within the PC. 'Prof Bhat is a one-man army and he has no support base. My brother unfortunately walked into a trap laid down by him,' he said. He noted that he would convene an executive council of the party soon where he will recommend Bilal's expulsion. 'He has resorted to indiscipline which calls for disciplinary action. I will convene a meeting of my executive wherein I will recommend his explusion,' he said. When contacted, Hurriyat leaders did not reply to repeated calls. The Lone brothers have been at loggerheads over various issues, including participation in the coming Lok Sabha elections. While Sajjad was reportedly in favour of participation in the polls through proxy, Bilal was against such an exercise. Sajjad had also written a letter to Hurriyat chief Moulvi Mohammed Abbas Ansari in which he had accused former Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of supporting his father's killers and indicted him in Lone's assassination.