Srinagar: Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari Thursday said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were being deprived of a constitutionally-guaranteed democratic setup which was adding to the alienation among the masses in the region.
Addressing a party workers’ meeting of Shopian district at its Srinagar office, Bukhari took a strong exception to the remarks of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on the bi-annual ‘Darbar’ move of shifting capitals from Srinagar to Jammu and vice versa.
He said that the Apni Party would not allow any further divisions of J&K on a regional and emotional basis.
“The annual Darbar Move symbolised a cultural exchange and an economic opportunity for the people of the two regions. It cannot be ceased arbitrarily. Stopping this centuries-old practice means that you are creating an emotional wedge between the people of the two divisions,” the Apni Party president said.
Highlighting the grim challenges faced by the people across J&K, he stressed on the need for restoring a popular government in J&K as soon as possible.
Bukhari said that the people of J&K feel more alienated in the wake of absence of any elected government and because of the persistent tumultuous situation coupled with a long spell of governor’s rule.
He said that the Apni Party should not be compared with the traditional political parties who exploited the sentiments of people during the last 70 years for their petty electoral gains.
“We are not like those who called for plebiscite, autonomy or self-rule. Later, they abandoned these slogans for the sake of power and perks. They are the ones who raise the restoration of Article 370 and Article 35-A during election time and later become signatories of resolutions that don’t even mention it,” the Apni Party president said.
Taking a strong exception to J&K’s government’s agreement to relinquish 258 MW Dulhasti Power Project- Stage II to NHPC, he said that the move would have serious and far-reaching politico-economic implications.
Bukhari said Dulhasti Power Project Stage-II was a clean and comparatively less complex project with all requisite clearances in hand and was not at all difficult to be taken up exclusively by the Chenab Valley Power Projects Pvt Ltd (CVPPL) without involving outside partners.
“Such a decision regarding handing over Dulhasti Power Project-II to NHPC will undermine the economic interests and political power of J&K. It will further disempower the citizens of J&K who have been aspiring for the return of power projects from NHCP,” he said.
The Apni Party president said that the J&K government should rectify its dereliction of duty in protecting the public assets by immediately taking back the possession of Dulhasti Power Project-II to prevent the economic losses besides protecting the local employment in Chenab Valley.