People Conference Chairman Sajjad Lone’s drama over not having been given his ‘choice portfolio’ is yet to get over.
Ex-separatist and now an ally of BJP in the PDP-led coalition, Sajjad lone on Monday skipped the first state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti after she was sworn in on April 4. He did not attend the meeting and instead, if the sources are to believed he spent whole day at his residence.
Allotted the portfolio of social welfare department and apparently dissatisfied over this, Lone had submitted his resignation to the chief minister. It has so far not been accepted by her. But lone, according to sources is in mood to relent. He has made it clear to BJP high command that either he should be accommodated according to his stature or else he would prefer sitting outside.
A close aide of Lone on being asked said “Lone Sahab is unlikely to join the state government. He has been ditched again. We knew till the last moment that he is getting Health and Medical education department but when the list was made public, he was given a low key department.” He added that it is not the department that matters but the manner in which a senior leader has been treated.
Lone, who got elected to the state legislative assembly from the Handwara constituency in 2014, was given a cabinet berth in the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government as a BJP nominee. He held the animal husbandry department portfolio in Mufti Muhammad Sayeed government that lasted for 10 months till Sayeed passed away in New Delhi on January 7.