Handwara, July 23: Apni Party president Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday said that his party, if elected to power in the forthcoming assembly elections, would ensure the restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir within a year.
He said, “The way we ensured an assurance from New Delhi on the protection of land and jobs for J&K people post-August 5, 2019; we will convince the central government to restore the statehood within a year after we attain the people’s mandate in the assembly elections.”
Bukhari was addressing a mammoth public rally in Handwara town of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, where people and the party workers accorded a rousing reception to Bukhari and other party leaders.
Extending his gratitude to the people for their overwhelming response, Bukhari said, “I feel humbled to see people thronging to the Apni Party’s public meetings as it is a clear indication that people trust the party leaders. And, by attending our rallies, people express their approval of the unambiguous agenda of the party.”
He said that unlike the traditional political parties, the Apni Party did not believe in the politics of deception.
He said, “We are God-fearing people and we have belief in the Hereafter, where Almighty will hold us accountable for all our doings in this world. Therefore, we do not dare to allure you with emotional slogans and fake promises. We promise you only what we can fulfill.”
“You have relied on the traditional politicians all these years. But they breached your trust again and again. Their trickery politics eventually landed our youth either in jails or in the graveyards. But I promise you a better future because we believe in constructive politics. Apni Party is an alternative for you. I request you to give us a chance to work for the peace, prosperity, and development of this land, and political and economic empowerment of its people,” he added.
Apni Party president further said, “The Apni Party was formed when there was a chaotic situation and absolute uncertainty in J&K due to the August 5, 2019 occurrences. It was the time when people needed someone to take a lead and talk to New Delhi to ensure the protection of the rights of the people. We met the Prime Minister, Home Minister, and other leaders in New Delhi seeking assurance that no demographic changes are done in J&K. We succeeded and got a clear assurance from the Centre.”
“I assure you that we will continue endeavouring to protect the political rights of the J&K people after we are elected to power,” he said.
Bukhari also promised that the Apni Party’s government would focus on the economic empowerment of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “We want every soul living on this land to be prosperous. We have a clear vision for the prosperity and development of this region.”
He explained it further, “We will develop the private sector to ensure the abundance of job opportunities, and we will pave the way for the investments here. As we all know that J&K has a huge capacity for hydroelectric generation. We will make this potential utilized to its fullest.”
He added, “Similarly, we will take systematic initiatives to enrich our horticulture industry. If we come to power, we will subsidise the refrigerated transport charges by 75 percent so that our orchardists could transport their fruit to the outside mandis unharmed. Also, we will compensate the farmers for the loss they face while transforming their orchards for the high-density plantation.”
Bukhari reiterated that the power consumers would be given free power up to five hundred units in J&K. He said, “As we have said time and again that if the Apni Party is elected to govern, it will give five hundred units of electricity free to the consumers of the Valley in winters and the same amount of free electricity to the consumers in Jammu during summers. And, 300 units free electricity to the people in Valley during summers and 300 units to Jammu in winters.”
“We have promised that our government would enhance the old age pension from the existing Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 a month, and for the marriage of girls from the existing Rs 50,000 to Rs one lakh to each beneficiary. Similarly, our government will provide an additional four refill cylinders to every household in J&K.”
Bukhari expressed his sorrow about the infrastructure deficit in Handwara. He said, “I was shocked to hear that some areas in Handwara are still facing water scarcity. It is shameful for the traditional political parties and so-called leaders who ruled J&K for years and decades that people do not have potable water available even after 75 years of independence.”
“The Apni Party, if elected to power, will ensure that there is no infrastructure deficit in the far-flung areas and people do not suffer even for the basic amenities anymore,” he assured, and added, “We will augment the infrastructure for health and education sectors as well.”
He also said he would ensure that the newly established medical college in Handwara should be thrown open for admissions and that the seats are reserved for the local students.
Bukhari also talked about the drug menace in Handwara and other places of the Valley. He said, “Unfortunately, the menace of drug addiction has been spreading fast among the youth in each area of the Valley. This will ruin our youngsters and society if not stopped. We all must wage a Jihad against this menace and those who are responsible for spreading this evil.”
“We cannot afford to see our young generation getting ruined. We have to fight against this menace,” Bukhari said.
Other prominent party leaders and senior workers who were present on the occasion included senior vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir, party general secretary Rafi Ahmad Mir, district president Raja Manzoor, vice district president Abdul Rashid Bhat, vice presidents Abdul Rahim Wani, Muhammad Amid Bhat, general secretary (ST wing) Khalid Badhana, district secretary Bilal Arif, vice provincial secretary Farooq Chichi, district coordinator Dr Tajamul, vice president (provincial) Sayma Sadaf, district president women wing Firdousa Geelani, Mohammad Amin Pir, vice president Youth Ashraf Andrabi, district treasurer Ghulam Hassan Dar, publicity secretary advocate Tajamul, block president Hyhama Manzoor Ahmad, advocate Rayees, Abdul Rashid Khan, Muhammad Maqbool, Abdul Qayoom Geelani, Firoz Ahmad, Wali Mir, Tahira jee, Ghulam Mohidin, Abdul Rehman, Ghulam Ahmad Sheikh, Ghulam Mohiddin Bhat, Fayaz Ahmad, Muhammad Amin Dar, advocate Faisal and Ab Majee Tantray.