Bukhari pins hope on Modi, Shah for restoring statehood of J&K

Bukhari pins hope on Modi, Shah for restoring statehood of J&K

Altaf Bukhari, Apni Party chief

Arun Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 31

Altaf Bukhari, who founded the first-ever political group, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, in the post August 5 era, is hopeful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah would restore statehood to J&K as per their promise.

He justified his meetings with them as necessary for getting the grievances of the people addressed at the highest level.

In a telephonic interview, Bukhari told The Tribune while reflecting on the situation that has developed after August 5 when the special status of the erstwhile state of J&K was scrapped, he said the “driving point behind the formation of new party was to provide a viable alternative to the people that can live up to its promises”.

“We don’t promise moon and stars, our politics is rooted in realism,” he said.

Regarding his frequent meetings with the PM and HM, Bukhari justified these, saying this engagement at the highest level was necessary for getting the statehood restored.

He said during his meetings, he found the PM and HM “very concerned about the public in J&K. They are keen on providing clean and efficient governance to the people of J&K”. He, however, added that we as a party have been vehemently demanding security for our special rights and privileges. We are still hopeful that the PM and HM would fulfil their promises made on the floor of Parliament vis-à-vis the restoration of statehood to J&K.

The Apni Party was the first to raise this demand as early as March this year.

Bukhari’s main concern is the growing disconnect between people and the bureaucratic government in J&K. There is no accountability on the ground and the bureaucrats are calling the shots without bothering for their implications on people.

He wanted early polls and the democratic exercise not being held hostage to the completion of the delimitation exercise.

He said though being in the government gives an edge, his party was not in favour of any backdoor entry to get to power. He was replying to a question on why he had declined to head an interim government.

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