Poonch: Apni Party president Syed Muhammed Altaf Bukhari on Wednesday said that the party has emerged as a hope among the people of J&K amid rise in the feeling of hopelessness. Addressing a rally here, he said that the people of Pir Panjal Region have welcomed the Apni Party by showing their support to the decision of forming the party on March 8, 2020.
Bukhari said when the Apni Party leadership toured the region for the first time after the formation of the party, the enthusiasm shown by the people in Kotranka, Rajouri and Poonch public rally and meetings with their massive presence shows that the party formation and its agenda has peoples acceptance.
“There was hopelessness among the people following August 5, 2019 and thereafter, we have emerged as a hope among the masses which has been accepted by the people in J&K,” Bukhari said.
He said, the acceptance of the policies and developmental agenda of the Apni Party has attracted the people because the party was able to give them protection of land and jobs in an atmosphere where the traditional political parties again restored to rhetoric of regional political divide whereas we worked for unity, equality, development, and employment. “This policy has brought the people close to the Party and they have accepted the Apni Party as their representative. When other political parties were not ready to speak for the public, it was Apni Party which stood up and raised its voice while meeting the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister with regard to the issues of J&K,” he said.
Bukhari said that the regional political parties followed the Apni Party’s agenda and also met the Prime Minister even though they were opposed to us initially, he added.
“These regional political parties know they have lost their ground and people do not trust them anymore. They multiplied the problems of the people with their emotional slogans for vote bank,” Bukhari said. The Apni Party president was speaking at a public meeting at Krishan Chander Park in Poonch District. The meeting was organised by District President, Poonch, and Ex-MLA Shah Muhammed Tantray.
“We have not forgotten Article 370 and Article 35A. We have continued our struggle for its restoration. As the matter is before the apex court of the country, we will fight it there and also raise our voice before concerned quarters so that our demand is accepted,” he said.
Expressing his concern over the plight of the people due to underdevelopment, unemployment, poor health infrastructure in Poonch, he said that the assembly elections are a must in J&K.
“These elections should not be delayed further. The people have suffered the most and the bureaucracy is unmoved with the issues of the people. There must be an accountability which can be fixed when there is an elected government in J&K. Therefore, the government must announce assembly elections but restore statehood first,” he said. Bukhari said that if his party comes to power, they will conduct a recruitment process fast track to fill up all vacant posts in J&K government, and will provide benefits of pension schemes to all economically weaker sections in J&K under Social Welfare up to Rs 5000.
“We will provide additional refill of 4 cooking gas cylinders to the entitled beneficiaries under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojnana,” he added. Bukhari also said that Jammu will get the first 500 units of free of cost electricity in summers and Kashmir will get 300 units of free electricity. Similarly, during winter season, Kashmir will get 500 units of free of cost electricity in winters and Jammu will get 300 units of electricity if we come to power, he said while appreciating the people for coming out in support of the party.
Bukhari said that they were able to get rid of SRO 202 which had given rise to the feeling of insecurity among the employees recruited under the above SRO. “We, however, got it revoked in the interest of the youth and accordingly, we will hold on the spot recruitment drives in J&K Police, and other security forces for the youths in border districts of J&K” he said.
He assured that if his party comes into power, they will provide an employment package to the unemployed youth in J&K and all the daily wagers will be regularised in recognition of their service to J&K. He also demanded that the age relaxation for J&K’s aspirants of UPSC be ended without considering the ground reality. Hence, the age relaxation should be restored for the aspirants of J&K, he added.
While speaking on the occasion, Senior Vice President, Ghulam Hassan Mir also expressed his deep concern over the poor health infrastructure in District Hospital Poonch.
He demanded upgradation of health infrastructure in the District Hospital. “Poonch being a hilly district and far away from the capital city (Jammu), there is a feeling of neglect among the people in the district at the grass root level and the people are not being listened to in the administration,” Mir said and added that their demands should be accepted. He further said that the important road link to Kashmir i.e., Mughal Road should be kept open for 12 months and the pending tunnel should be constructed at the earliest.
“If we come to power, we will start construction work on the tunnel on Mughal road within the first three months,” Mir said, and demanded that it should be opened for all weather conditions.