Restore statehood, hold elections in J&K: Altaf Bukhari

JKAP president Altaf Bukhari flanked by others, addressing press conference in Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
JKAP president Altaf Bukhari flanked by others, addressing press conference in Jammu on Friday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

*Nominate candidates for 7 seats till delimitation is over

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, July 24: Demanding restoration of Statehood to the J&K, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president and former minister, Syed Mohd Altaf Bukhari today said that the Government of India must hold elections in J&K along with Bihar state.
Addressing a press conference at JKAP office in Jammu today, Bukhari said that one year is going to complete on August 5, 2020 for creation of Union Territory and on this occasion, the Government should restore the Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. He said it is the most popular demand of the people from Kashmir as well as the Jammu region.
“The Reorganization Act was implemented for one year,” Bukhari said, adding “It is our right that it should be restored.”

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While referring to the Delimitation process in the J&K UT, Bukhari said due to Corona virus pandemic, this exercise has been nearly stopped. It may take some more time. Till this exercise is over, the Government must nominate members for the seven seats and conduct elections for 83 seats along with Bihar where election is due in September-October this year. He said initiating political exercise in the J&K is must because general public is suffering badly due to public-Government contact deficit.
Bukhari further demanded an economic package for the small scale business establishments, rehri-walas, pony walas at Katra Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine and people associated with the tourism sector, traders, industries, hoteliers and their employees who are facing hard times. Bukhari appealed to the Government to subsidize the 50% fixed cost of these business establishments and waive off electricity bills.
“The payment should not be deferred but it should be waived off. I feel people in J&K are not in condition to pay interest. The condition of the general public is not good and the irresponsive bureaucracy has made them suffer more with power cuts in Jammu, lack of developmental works,” Bukhari added.
“Why is there no developmental work in J&K ?” He questioned and said that Telangana is also suffering from COVID-19. However, their Government did developmental works like macadamisation of road, cable laying work, constructed drains, but we fail to understand why developmental works could not be started in J&K, Bukhari maintained.
He said that this situation could be suitable for the work because the majority of people remain confined to their homes and do not venture out due to COVIDmeasures. He pointed out that the education system has collapsed and the students are facing problems. The Government must restore 4G internet services in J&K as students and researchers are the worst suffers, he added.
JKAP leader appreciated the administration for dealing with the COVID-19 initiating with measures but maintained that the situation in quarantine centres was not good. He appealed to the people to follow protocol defined by the Government to prevent Covid spread in Jammu and Kashmir.
Senior JKAP leaders, Dillawar Mir, Aijaz Khan, Vijay Bakaya, Manjit Singh and Vikram Malhotra also accompanied.