Altaf Bukhari hails PAGD decision to contest DDC polls, says Sheikh Abdullah took 22 years to realise 'right track'

Altaf Bukhari along with other party members during a press conference in Srinagar on Thursday. Photo: Mubashir Khan / GK

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday hailed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) decision of fighting the District Development Council (DDC) elections stating that it took Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah twenty two years to realize the right track.

“Those who are part of the alliance for the Gupkar Declaration chose the right path in less than a month which is a welcome development,” Bukhari was quoted as having said by news agency KNO while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.

He said it was good to see leaders associated with the PAGD shunning the ‘emotional slogans’ as such acts have always swayed the youth of J&K towards the wrong path. “Today’s youth have seen worse situations than ever. In the past 70 years, whatever was earned was snatched,” Bukhari said.

He also welcomed the J&K Panchayat Conference, an amalgam of Sarpanchs and Panchs into the Apni Party fold. The J&K PC is led by Shafiq Mir.

He 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. They still claim that they aren’t power hungry,” he said, adding “But I want to ask them what is the purpose of fighting the DDC polls then. Power flows from the grassroots and DDC polls are linked with grassroots democracy”.

He said that the J&K 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. He added that they also demand statehood for our identity.

Bukhari said that unless 272 MPs would vote for 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 J&K Apni Party—“Bat”, Bukhari said that his party members will be like true sportsmen and full spirit.

On the land law, he said J&K Apni Party will fight for protection of land rights. “This is not the slogan but I assure you that we will fight for the change of land laws,” he said, adding “We have vowed to get the land laws amended, and we will get it amended.”