Poll boycott call of separatists not to serve any purpose:Lone

Last Updated: Sun, May 19, 2013 12:21 hrs

Srinagar: A senior moderate Hurriyat Conference leader today questioned the election boycott call given by separatists in Jammu and Kashmir saying people participate in the democratic exercise for governance and it has no bearing on the "resolution of Kashmir issue".

"We should rethink on boycott call. It has not served any purpose there is a need to devise a new strategy," chairman Peoples Conference, Bilal Gani Lone said here.

The polls to state legislature are scheduled for next year, but hardline Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani last month called for a boycott of the elections.

Lone said the boycott strategy had "not yielded anything" and benefit of the boycott goes to the mainstream parties.

The separatist leader, whose younger brother Sajjad Gani Lone contested the 2009 Parliamentary polls unsuccessfully, said elections are for governance and participating in the process does not mean people are against the "resolution of Kashmir issue".

"Elections are for governance. They are no substitute to Azadi or the resolution of Kashmir issue. And when people participate in elections, that does not mean they are not with the sentiment. They just want their day-to-day issues resolved," he said.

Lone, son of the assassinated Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone, said he does not want to participate in the elections, but "feels" the boycott has not served any purpose and the separatist leadership should devise a new strategy.

"We should sit down and think. We should rethink on boycott. We should consult intelligentsia, lawyers and others to discuss this and devise a new strategy," he said, adding this was his and his groupŒs (Peoples Conference) opinion and that "he was yet to talk" to Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

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