Srinagar Dec 13: President, Apni Party, Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari Monday demanded restoration of statehood before assembly polls in J&K saying people were "feeling disempowered in absence of an elected government" in the UT.
Bukhari was addressing a massive public rally attended by thousands of people from all walks of life in Kotranka area of J&K's Rajouri distinct.
“We want to assure the people of J&K that Apni Party will not allow any kind of injustice with them. The fear among the people about the change of their status, apprehensions about demographic change will not be allowed to happen, " Bukhari said.
He said Apni Party "came into being to protect the constitutional rights of the people of J&K".
The Apni Party chief said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had "promised us that no demographic change will happen in J&K".
"We got the protection of jobs and agricultural land in J&K,” he said.
He said that the "people’s rights should be protected constitutionally in J&K and until the decision from the Supreme Court on special status comes, we consider the promises made with us by the Government of India as temporary relief for the people of J&K.”
Bukhari said that Apni Party "will always continue to raise genuine demands of the people and work to upliftment their standard of life irrespective of regional discrimination".
“We believe in unity of two regions and among the communities. Our efforts for equal development of J&K's people will continue.”
He further said that the people of J&K "have become disempowered after the snatching of statehood of J&K and it should be restored as early as possible before elections".
“We will try that the statehood is restored soon and elections are held for the empowerment of the people so that people elect their government,” he added.
Bukhari also questioned the government's "claims about providing employment". “The unemployment rate in J&K is more in comparison to other Union Territories or States. Therefore, it is imperative for the Govt to focus on providing employment to the educated youth in J&K particularly in view of vacant 45, 000 Govt posts,” he said.
He said that all the vacant posts must be fulfilled on fast track urging the government to conduct special recruitment drives in the hilly areas in J&K Police, CRPF, BSF, Indian Army and other paramilitary forces.
Today's rally was also addressed by Apni Party Senior Vice President, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Vice President, Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, State General Secretary, Syed Asgar Ali, State General Secretary, Vikram Malhotra, Provincial President, Jammu, Manjit Singh and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir said that the Apni Party "has gained strength at the ground level with its hard work among the people".
He demanded J&K's statehood be restored before the holding of assembly polls in J&K.
Mir said there is a "feeling of hopelessness and alienation among the people because of the failure of the administration in addressing long pending developmental issues.”
Vice President, Choudhary Zulfikar Ali thanked the people for "expressing their faith in Apni Party and participation in huge numbers".
“The people are disappointed with the administration as no one is listening to them. The developmental works which we had taken up have come to stand still,” he said adding that the degree college which was sanctioned for Kotranka was awaiting construction.
"There has been no development in the last three and half years. The claims of development are false as not even a new single school has been opened nor any public toilet, he said while narrating the hollow claims of the Govt with regard to development".
Zulfikar said that Kotranka - Khawas road, Anas irrigation project, eco- tourism park and many other projects were unfinished in the last three and half years.
“The administration is doing nothing for the public welfare or development. The development is nowhere and people are fed-up with the system and therefore, the elected Govt should replace the present dispersion as they are responsible for the people,” he said.
“We did development without discrimination. We constructed roads, bridges, hospitals, and provided schools for everyone irrespective of any identity.”
He further said that highly qualified youth "are working as labourers in absence of employment opportunities".
“There is no recruitment in the army, police, or for school teachers. The people see a ray of hope in the Apni Party as a political party which raised the voice for the people,” he said.
Zulfikar further added that Apni Party "will never compromise with the future of the people" and demanded that the statehood must be restored before assembly elections.