Sajjad Lone is a Minister for Social Welfare and Science & Technology. He is one of the tallest leaders in the political establishment of Jammu and Kashmir. An MLA from Handwara, Lone is the youngest son of Abdul Ghani Lone – who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at a public meeting in Srinagar on May 21, 2002.
Sajjad Lone, who was formerly a leader of the Hurriyat Conference, joined mainstream politics by founding People’s Conference after the assassination of his father. He is one of the two politicians from the party elected to the J&K Legislative Assembly following the 2014 state elections.
His wife, Asma, is the only child of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder and Pakistani national Amanullah Khan. Lone is a former Separatist leader who is now seen as pro-India by the Separatists and their supporters in Kashmir.
A part of the alliance government in the state since 2014, Lone shot to national prominence after his much publicized meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2014. Following that meeting, Lone became one of the few J&K politicians who would effusively praise the PM.
Lone had said:
“The PM is a great human being. I was pleasantly surprised with his down-to-earth personality, his vision about bringing in investments into the state. I could not make out whether I am talking to the PM or my older brother.”
That “older brother” remark did the rounds of mainstream media. Turns out that Lone was not just making a statement before the press, he was serious about his praise for the PM.