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Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 12:01 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2018, 12:01 AM (IST)

Time not ripe for civic elections, says Bukhari

Time not ripe for civic elections, says Bukhari
Syed Altaf Bukhari, PDP leader

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, September 12

Peoples Democratic Party leader and former Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday ridiculed the remarks made by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and spokesman Brig Anil Gupta that the PDP should reconsider its decision of boycotting the upcoming municipal and panchayat elections.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari said Madhav was well aware that his own party leadership displayed an “utter disregard for elected representatives and dishonoured democratic institutions like the Legislative Assembly” in the state. “Now talking about decentralisation of powers at the grass-roots level through an electoral exercise that can’t be held in an atmosphere of political uncertainty in Kashmir is preposterous and an unreasonable proposition,” the PDP leader remarked.

He said the objectives of devolution of powers could not be achieved at a time when people of Jammu and Kashmir were apprehensive about efforts being made to muzzle their special political identity by fiddling with Article 35A and other rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

“After subverting the democratic process by showing scant regard for an elected government, the BJP is now trying to hurt the wounded psyche of people by pushing them towards untimely municipal and panchayat elections,” Bukhari said.

He said the situation in Kashmir could have been entirely different had the Central government implemented the Agenda of Alliance and fulfilled its promises of introducing confidence-building measures and initiating a comprehensive dialogue with all stakeholders in the Valley.

“Unfortunately, the BJP didn’t weigh the risks of dishonouring democracy in J&K and never tried to draw lessons from history, which has witnessed the subversion of democratic institutions and popular elected representatives at a grave cost to the state and interests of its people,” he added.

On Gupta’s remarks that the PDP was in competition with the NC and believed in dynasty politics, Bukhari said the PDP through its pro-people polices had emerged as a strong regional force representing the aspirations of all regions and sub-regions of the state.

“Earlier when the PDP forged an alliance with the BJP, the decision was taken purely keeping in view the interests of people of Kashmir. Now when the NC says something that is in the interest of Kashmiris, how can the PDP forego its responsibility of protecting the interests of our people?” he remarked.

Bukhari said in the interest of the state and its people in particular, the PDP would not shy away from fighting any nefarious designs jointly with the NC and other regional political forces for safeguarding the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The PDP neither believes in dynasty politics nor is it in competition with any regional or national party. This party has earned credibility through its convictions and commitments. Our party is committed to safeguarding the special status of our state with people’s support and cooperation,” he added.

‘Remarks preposterous’

"(BJP) talking about decentralisation of powers at the grass-roots level through an electoral exercise that can’t be held in an atmosphere of political uncertainty... is preposterous and an unreasonable proposition." Syed Altaf Bukhari, PDP leader


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