Poll boycotts disempowered people, stalled development process: Bukhari

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, July 1: Apni Party (AP) president Altaf Bukhari has said that the traditional political parties have always played a ‘divide and rule’ politics to attain their political and personal advantages.
Addressing a public rally at Agar in Pattan area of north Kashmir on Friday Bukhari said, “We know this as a matter of fact that the people of this area have always pursued peace. People want prosperity and development here. However, the politicians and parties you have been choosing to represent you in the government have always exploited your vote for their political advantages. They have been playing divide and rule politics here, over the years. Even, most of the times, these political parties ensure poll boycotts by a large section of people here to make sure that their candidates are declared winners in the elections. But, I assure you that the Apni Party does not believe in such political gimmicks. Unlike, the traditional political parties we do not divide people in the name of religion, sect, caste and geographical location. We want you to come out and exercise your vote with your free will in the forthcoming elections,” Bukhari said.
Urging people not to pay heed to election boycott calls and use their vote wisely, Bukhari said that boycotting elections has always disempowered people and hindered the development process in the Valley.
“We live in a democratic setup wherein people have the right to elect or reject a candidate. Thus you should choose your representatives wisely. On one hand, you have the traditional political parties, who have been deceiving you for years and decades; and, on the other, you have Apni Party to represent you in the government and democratic institutions with an unambiguous agenda. I request you to choose sensibly. The Apni Party’s key agenda is to work for the sustained peace, enduring prosperity and development of Jammu and Kashmir. We will ensure development of your area,” he added
Bukhari reiterated the fact that the traditional political parties have been pushing Kashmiri youth towards unattainable objectives, and emotional slogans to ensure their political gains.
“We have seen deaths and destruction. This kind of politics has landed our youth in jails and buried them in graveyards. Apni Party will not allow the traditional political parties to continue their deceitful politics anymore,” he asserted.
Senior leaders Ghulam Hassan Mir, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Shoaib Lone and others also spoke on the occasion.