Altaf Bukhari calls for the holding of assembly elections in J&K without further delay

JK News Today

Srinagar, September 9: Urging New Delhi to uphold the constitutional rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, including their right to choose their own representatives to serve, Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, on Sunday, called for the immediate holding of assembly elections here without further delay.

He was speaking at the event of a public rally in Anantnag town in south Kashmir today. The rally was thronged by the local residents and party workers, who gave a rousing reception to the party president and his fellow leaders upon their arrival at the venue. The event was organized by the party’s Additional General Secretary, Hilal Ahmad Shah.

Addressing the occasion, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari reiterated his demand for the immediate holding of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and said, “I urge New Delhi not to deprive the people of Jammu and Kashmir of their constitutional right to choose their own representatives. Given the long-standing turmoil and instability in J&K, it is imperative to uphold the constitutional rights of the people to strengthen democracy and democratic values in the region.”

Asking people not to fall prey to the traditional parties, especially those who have dynasties and their leaders, Apni Party president said, “Anantnag district has the distinction of being politically sensitive, as the people of this region have always been vibrant in their political activities. This area has produced a range of political leaders, including several chief ministers for Jammu and Kashmir. However, over the past few years, you have supported leaders who imposed family rule in this region. It is your responsibility to be more cautious this time and not to further encourage dynastic politics.”

“These political dynasties were responsible for eroding the region’s political and constitutional status much before the BJP government finally abrogated Article 370 on August 5, 2019. They have been complacent in harming the interests of this region and its people over the course of years and decades,” He added.

Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari promised that the Apni Party, if it gets the public mandate in the upcoming assembly elections to serve the people, would transform J&K’s socio-political and economic scenario for the better.

He said, “Apni Party is committed to protecting the social, political, and economic rights of the people of J&K. We are determined to bring about positive change as we know that the constitution of our country provides people with all the rights and opportunities required to live a dignified and prosperous life.”

“We have a clear vision to implement measures that will bring economic benefits to the people here. We will tackle the rising unemployment by harnessing our region’s abundant natural resources and opportunities, thereby paving the path to economic prosperity for our people.” He added.

He promised, “Apni Party’s government will ensure the regularization of hundreds of thousands of dailywagers working in various government departments; we will restore the centuries-old practice of ‘Darbar Move’; we will revise the New Mining Policy to ensure that local communities retain the rights to extract minerals from water bodies; and we will implement measures to control the sale and distribution of liquor in localities across the Valley.”

However, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari requested that people contribute their efforts to ensure sustainable peace in Jammu and Kashmir. He stated, “Maintaining law and order and fostering peace and harmony are imperative because our interests are at stake. We simply cannot endure any more destruction and bloodshed here. We must protect our young generation and provide them with new hopes and opportunities for a better and prosperous life. Therefore, a peaceful and harmonious environment in Jammu and Kashmir is an absolute necessity, and we must contribute to it.”

The party’s senior vice president, Ghulam Hassan Mir, while addressing the rally, recalled the situation in which Apni Party was established in March 2020. He said, “Post-August 2019, the entire Jammu and Kashmir was in great chaos and facing huge instability as the people were apprehensive that after losing the constitutional articles 370 and 35A along with J&K’s statehood, this place would face a demographic change and the residents would lose their exclusive rights over the land and jobs here.”

He went on to say further, “At that crucial time, the traditional political leaders chose to keep mum, and we were left with two options: keep quiet and watch the untoward occurrence unfolding as spectators, or stand up for the rights of the people. We opted for the latter and established the party to fight for the protection of the rights of the people. We met the leaders in New Delhi and convinced them not to harm the demography here and ensured that the Union Government announces that J&K people will solely have rights to agricultural land and jobs here.”

“No one can deny the fact that the credit for protecting the exclusive rights of J&K people over the land and jobs goes to Apni Party,” He added.

Party’s General Secretary, Rafi Ahmad Mir, taking a dig at the traditional political parties, said that these parties were responsible for ruining the interests of Jammu and Kashmir and its people. He said, “We cannot blame the BJP for what it did with J&K on August 5, 2019, because their intentions to revoke Article 370 were evident, even outlined in their manifesto; once they got an opportunity, they did what they wanted to do. However, we must hold our regional parties accountable. These parties garnered votes by advocating slogans of ‘autonomy’ and ‘self-rule,’ presenting themselves as champions of the people, and pledging to protect their interests. The question is, why did they fail to fulfill these promises?”

Rafi Ahmad Mir urged people to reject these traditional parties and their leaders for deceiving people over the years and urged them to join hands with the Apni Party for the protection of the rights of this land and its people.

The other prominent party leaders and senior workers who were present on the occasion included Hilal Ahmad Shah, Abdul Rahim Rather, Nazir Ahmad Dialgami, Tariq Shah Veeri, Mohammad Amin Sheikh, Mohammad Shafi Malik, Fayaz Ahmad Qadiri, Bakshi Abdul Hamid, Shahid Ahmad Malik, Sajad Ahmad, Khalid Bashir, Javid Ahmad Shah, Sohail Ahmad Koniroo, Gowhar Rasool, Haji Mohammad Saleem Shah, Aijaz Ahmad Najar, and others.