What took Sheikh Abdullah 22 years to realize, PAGD did in less than a month: Altaf Bukhari
AJKPC led by Shafiq Mir joins Apni Party
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday said it took Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah twenty-two years to realize the ‘right track’ while the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) “choose the right path in less than a month”, which is a welcome development.
Bukhari also welcomed the Shafiq Mir-led J&K Panchayat Conference, an amalgam of Sarpanchs and Panchs into the Apni Party fold.
Addressing a press conference here, Bukhari, according to the news agency KNO said that till some ten days back, those who are part of PAGD, used to cry out loud that elections are meaningless for them.
“But now they have decided to fight DDC polls and yet they claim that they aren’t power hungry. But I want to ask them: what for they are fighting the DDC polls then? Power flows from the grass-roots and DDC polls are linked with the grass-root democracy,” Bukhari said.
He said it was good to see leaders associated with the PAGD shunning the “emotional slogans” as such things have always swayed the youth of J&K towards wrong path.
“It took Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah 22 years to realise what is the right track and it took PAGD less than a month to decide what is right. I am happy over the PAGD’s decision to contest DDX polls and hail their announcement,” he said.
He said that today’s youth have seen worse situations than ever. “Truth is very bitter — in the past 70, whatever was earned has been snatched,” Bukhari said.
He said that the Apni Party has not given up as far as Article 370 is concerned. “The case is in the Supreme Court. We had five MPs who unfortunately couldn’t save it. Those five people can’t bring back Article 370. Our hope is tied with the SC,” he said, adding that “we also demand statehood for our identity and we are fighting for it.”
He said that unless 272 MPs would vote for the restoration of Article 370, it can’t be restored. “Apart from the parliament, our hope is SC, and let’s hope for the best,” Bukhari said.
About the poll symbol of Apni Party — bat — Bukhari said that his party members will be like true sportsmen and full of spirit.
On the land laws, he said Apni Party will fight for the protection of land rights.
“Industry, we understand, but that can’t be at the cost of our youth. This is not the slogan but I assure you that we will fight for the change of land laws,” he said. “We have vowed to get the land laws amended, and we will get them amended.”
Asked how – Bukhari said, “through persuasion; this is not something we will get on a plate!”
Earlier, president of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC), Shafiq Mir, along with the members of his association, joined the Apni Party.
While announcing the merger of AJKPC with Apni Party, Mir said that the “unique socio-economic and political agenda and the vision of its leadership” distinguishes Apni Party from the rest of regional political parties.
He claimed that “Apni Party is the only party capable of addressing the challenges faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the prevailing political circumstances”.
Mir also said that the regional political parties in J&K have been doing emotive politics since decades and have never allowed strengthening of the grassroots level democracy for their narrow political considerations.
“Those political parties that were so far averse to the idea of holding Panchayat elections in J&K during its first and second tiers, have now realized that they will be rendered irrelevant if they don’t participate in the elections to the third tier of Panchayati Raj. So they have jumped into the fray,” Mir observed.
He said that people in Jammu and Kashmir are mature to judge the “political gimmicks” of these parties.
“The signatories of Gupkar declaration tried to become politically relevant by raising hollow slogans to hoodwink the people. On the contrary, Apni Party stood firmly with its unwavering political stand which has now been acknowledged by all its political adversaries,” he claimed, adding that “this unflinching stand and pragmatic politics” motivated him to join the Apni Party.