Jammu, Dec 15: The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) on Wednesday said it has not forgotten the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution and will continue the struggle for their restoration.
Addressing a public meeting at Krishan Chander Park in border district of Poonch, JKAP president Altaf Bukhari said assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir should not be delayed further to address issues of underdevelopment, unemployment and poor health infrastructure.
The Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5, 2019, and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories.
Article 35A, which stemmed out of Article 370, gave powers to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to define permanent residents of the state, their special rights and privileges.
"We have not forgotten about Article 370 and Article 35A. We have continued our struggle for their restoration. As the matter is before the apex court of the country, we will fight it there and also raise our voice before the concerned quarters so that our demand is accepted," Bukhari said.
He also said assembly elections should be held in Jammu and Kashmir without further delay after restoring its statehood.
"These elections should not be delayed further. The people have suffered the most and the bureaucracy is unmoved by their issues," he said.
Accountability can be fixed when there is an elected government. Therefore, the government must announce assembly elections but it should restore Jammu and Kashmir's statehood first, he added.
Without naming any party, the JKAP leader said the regional political parties know that they have lost ground and people do not trust them anymore.
"There was hopelessness among people after August 5, 2019. Thereafter, we have emerged as hope among the masses that has been accepted by the people of J&K," he said.
JKAP vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir, who was also present at the public meeting, demanded the upgradation of infrastructure at the Poonch district hospital.
As Poonch is a hilly district and far away from the capital city, there is a feeling of neglect among its people and the administration is not listening to them, he claimed.
Mir said the important road link to Kashmir via Mughal Road should be kept open round the year and the pending tunnel should be constructed at the earliest.
"If we (JKAP) come to power, we will start the construction work on the tunnel on Mughal Road within the first three months," he said.