Won’t allow demographic change in J&K: Bukhari

Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari addressing a press conference at Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari addressing a press conference at Srinagar. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Aug 18: Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari today said his party will not allow anyone to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference here Bukhari said the chief electoral officer’s remarks have created confusion and uneasiness among the people.
“Two things come to our mind by such statements. One is whether it is an attempt to change our demography, and the other is how anyone can vote at two places. If someone lives outside, how can he vote here?” he told reporters.
He sought a clarification regarding this from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home minister Amit Shah.
“This confusion has created apprehensions among the people, perhaps for the first time after August 5, 2019 (when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status). It has created doubts that it is to change our demography.
“Our children who study in Maharashtra, Punjab or Bangaluru, I do not think they are given the right to vote there. So, how are they saying this? The Government of India should come clean on this…,” he said.
Referring to the meeting of his party’s delegation with the Prime Minister on March 14, 2020, Bukhari said Modi had then assured that Jammu and Kashmir’s demography will never be changed.
“I want to remind the Prime Minister about that meeting and seek a clarification as to whether this is going contrary to that (assurance),” he said.
Asked whether the party will participate in the all-party meeting called by National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on August 22, Bukhari said, “The party is meeting on Sunday and hopes the Government of India will clarify the issue by then.”
The Apni Party president said the party is also seeking legal guidance over the issue.
Asked whether there would be political ramifications of the CEO’s remarks, Bukhari said, “Let me assure you that Apni Party will fight with all its might to see that demography is not changed,” he said.