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Restore J&K’s statehood before polls: Bukhari

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood should be restored before the Assembly elections are conducted, Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said here on Thursday.

Bukhari also said under an elected government not only the good work of the officers will be appreciated, but they will be held answerable for any wrongdoings too.

“Elections or no elections, as a political party, we are always ready for it. Our job is to serve the people and we will continue to do that,” he told reporters here.

He said the Apni Party wants the Assembly elections to be conducted in J&K so that the problems faced by the people are resolved by an elected government.

“We also want that the statehood be restored immediately. Why are they (Centre) waiting for the elections? This is a promise of the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah),” he said.

We live a democratic country, and people have the right to elect their own government to represent them and address their grievances, Bukhari said.

“Once an elected government is there, it will analyse what has been done by the (current) bureaucratic set-up and while the good work will be appreciated, they will be answerable for their wrong-doings,” the Apni Party president said.

He said his party will continue to fight for the aspirations of the people including the restoration of statehood, fighting for Articles 370 and 35-A in the Supreme Court, and for their land and job rights.

Asked about the decision to not contest election by Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – both former J&K chief ministers – as long as J&K remains a UT, Bukhari said “it is their personal decision.”

“We are not for power, we want to serve the people … So, it is their own decision, but we will contest in all 90 constituencies, secure a majority and form the government,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Congress party’s former district president Bandipora, Imtiyaz Parray joined the Apni Party.

Parray is a son of Mohammad Yusuf Parray alias Kuka Parray, the founder of counter-insurgency force ‘Ikhwan’ in the Valley.

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