Srinagar: Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari the President Jammu & Kashmir Apni Party on Monday pledged to continue with his struggle against the political disempowerment of people of Jammu and Kashmir that came to a full circle last year by turning a State into a Union Territory.
Addressing the Party’s campaign convention at Khannabal in district Anantnag, Bukhari said that Apni party will ensure that J&K gets its Statehood back and till then the Party will work for protection of land and jobs for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Apni Party considers August 5, 2019 as a black day in J&K’s history. Not only Article 370 and 35-A were scrapped but our State was bifurcated into two Union Territories (UT) of J&K and Ladakh. Apni Party is committed to fight for restoration of special status in the Supreme Court but till that goal is achieved, we can’t sit with our fingers crossed,” Bukhari observed.
He said that the Apni Party hopes that the verdict of the Supreme Court comes as a sigh of relief for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “Last year’s political decisions have not been taken easily by the people of J&K. We can’t wait for that verdict of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the August 5, 2019 decisions. We will have to strive for protection of our domicile rights on land and jobs in order to have legal safeguards in our hands,” Bukhari remarked.
He said that the Apni Party has adopted a two pronged strategy—one to follow the lawsuit for restoration of special status to J&K in the Apex Court and second to strive for comprehensive domicile laws for protection of land and jobs for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “You must be aware about how we got domicile law for jobs replaced within 24 hours. Earlier only class fourth jobs were reserved for youth of J&K but we ensured that all the categories of jobs are fully reserved for the domiciles of J&K,” he added.
Bukhari said the Apni Party has explicitly explained that the domicile law on lands in J&K is unacceptable to it and needs to be replaced with a new law as per the aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir. “Although there are ample safeguards for sale of agricultural land which can’t be transferred to non-domiciles of J&K but we want a foolproof law for protection of lands for domiciles of J&K,” he averred.
Bukhari said that the Apni Party will ensure that no commitments are made with the people which can’t be fulfilled by it. “Our party does not believe in hollow slogans and we pledge to deliver on our promises made with the people,” he added.
The campaign meeting witnessed enthusiastic party cadres who were a mix of young and old experienced workers assembled from different parts of the district.
Speaking on this occasion, senior vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir expressed hope and confidence that people of district Anantnag like other parts of J&K will come forward to support and vote for the Apni Party candidates in DDC elections so that they are empowered to work for the holistic development of this district.
He said: “Like its first two tiers including Panch-Sarpanch and BDC elections, DDC elections will complete the third tier of Panchayat Raj in J&K. These elections are purely meant for planning and development and those who are trying to politicize these polls are befooling the people,” he observed.
He said those political parties who garnered votes to stop BJP in J&K and later on became its ally just for the sake of power and perks are now claiming to be champions of rights of people of J&K. “Few leaders of the Gupkar Declaration also enjoyed ministries in the NDA government. Those who are rattled with rising popularity of the Apni Party have remained part of BJP until recently just for sharing power and positions. People have not forgotten these historical facts,” he remarked.
Apni Party General Secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir who also addressed the convention observed that the signatories of Gupkar Alliance have miserably failed to deliver on their promises made with the people. “The elected Members of Parliament belonging to Gupkar signatories who are now crying hoarse about the restoration of Article 370 and 35-A have miserably failed to safeguard the rights of J&K in the Parliament. They should have resigned by now, at least on moral grounds,” Mir added.
He said that people in J&K have been befooled by misleading slogans but they can’t be hoodwinked anymore. “Times have changed and I hope the people will reply to these political parties as they deserve in DDC elections,” he said, while appealing to the people to vote and support the Apni Party.
The convention was also addressed by former legislator and Party’s District President Anantnag Abdul Rahim Rather. Speaking on this occasion, Rather exuded confidence in people of district Anantnag saying that they are politically mature to differentiate between the political gimmicks and the sincerity of the purpose.
“People are fed up with the hollow slogans and want delivery on the ground. As you know, the Apni Party under the leadership of our president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari has from day one committed pragmatism. And we will tirelessly work to realize our agenda of socio-economic and political empowerment of people of J&K,” Rather remarked.
The convention was also addressed by Nazir Ahmad Wani (Dailgami), provincial secretary Kashmir. Besides him, Party’s youth leader Imaad Rafi Mir also addressed the gathering.