RAJOURI, APRIL 29, 2023: Asserting that people want restoration of their honour and dignity, Apni Party President, Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari on Saturday demanded holding of much delayed Assembly Elections in Jammu and Kashmir for the empowerment of people.
“The people across J&K are feeling disempowered with the bureaucratic regime. On the other, the unnecessary delay in holding assembly elections has given rise to the feeling of alienation among the people which needs to be addressed at the earliest,” said Altaf Bukhari while addressing a public rally in Rajouri district.
Bukhari said that “The basic needs of the people whether electricity, clean drinking water, road, basic infrastructure for hospitals, and educational institutions are not available in Rajouri and its border villages due to the poor response from the bureaucrats. As the civil administration has completely collapsed, it is ample time to restore the confidence of the people who are feeling sidelined with no elected representative or Govt in place.”
The people in both the regions have similar demand to restore statehood and hold Assembly Elections in J&K without delay, he said, and questioned that “If elections can be held in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and others states and UTs in the country, why they are delayed in J&K.” He said that the people want their honour and dignity to be restored with the restoration of statehood.
He said that the Govt officials have harassed people on the name of anti-encroachment drive, formalities in old age pension schemes, but forget to complete the pending developmental projects.
He said that “The vacant posts in various Govt Departments of Rajouri district are vacant but no process to fulfill them was taken up. Even as the youth are on the roads demanding employment, the Govt has failed to advertise the vacant posts in various departments for their recruitments.”
He criticized the recruitment agencies which has created mistrust among the aspiring youth in J&K for various jobs with the disclosure of recruitment scam.
“The situation is not favorable for the common man in J&K. The bureaucrats have failed to do anything for the welfare of J&K and its people. It has forced tendering process at the village level even in small works up to Rs 50000 on the name of transparency and ignored the local workers of the respective villages. The youth are being unemployed, but the contractors who have nexus with the babus are getting contracts at the village level while the development has stalled with the non-availability of funds in most of the villages/ Panchayats in Rajouri,” he added highlighting concern raised by the people.
“The elected Govt is responsible to the people as it works for them. However, the babus are not answerable to the people. If we form the next Govt, we will hold that the officials ignoring developmental works and engaging the outsiders in village level works will have to face the action under rules,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said that the Apni Party was founded to work for the welfare and protect the basic rights of the people whether land or jobs.
“The opposition political parties created suspicion among the people with the foundation of Apni Party as they lost their ground. These politicians were enjoying their days after the August 5, 2019 decision in the houses, guest houses and hotels, but we did not remain silent. Unlike them, we risked ourselves and came out to represent the people,” he recalled while asking the people that the Apni Party represents the public sentiments and tells the truth to the people without misleading them from the factual situation.
He said that “We went to Delhi to get protection for the job and land for the residents of J&K. However, the other political parties which ruled J & K from time to time went to Delhi to get protection for their own interests. Therefore, they cannot speak on behalf of the general masses. It is the only Apni Party which represents the people and takes the future generation towards a peaceful and bright future.”
“These political parties defamed the Apni Party. However, they themselves went to Delhi and met the Prime Minister of India. But the difference was that the Apni Party went to Delhi for the people, and the opposition leaders went there for themselves,” he said.
He further said that “The BJP and other traditional political parties have created misunderstanding among the people of two regions. They do divisive politics. However, we believe in unity and brotherhood among the people in J&K.”
It was the part of their divisive plan that the constituencies were created in the delimitation commission report and Rajouri-Anantnag constituency was created without the consultation of the local representatives.
He said that “A major attempt was made in Rajouri to divide people on the name of Gujjars, Pahari and Kashmiri. Not only did the BJP, the Congress Party, NC, and PDP are equally responsible for creating division in the regions as well as among the people.”
He however appreciated the people of Rajouri for maintaining peace and brotherhood despite all attempts to create misunderstanding among them.
While denouncing the divisive forces, he said that the people have shown their faith in that Apni Party.
He said that Apni Part will form the next Govt in J&K and all the regions will get equal representation.
“We will not allow the bulldozer politics to flourish in J&K. The people from all sections of society are against it. People want peace, prosperity and development and the Apni Party is committed to provide stability and equitable development,” he added.
Besides, Senior Vice President, Apni Party, Ghulam Hassan Mir said that Apni Party believes that “The youth are the future of J&K as well as of the country. Hence, they should be guided towards the right track that leads them to peace and progress, but not to the violence.”
He said that “August 5, 2019 decision has given deep wounds to the people that cannot be healed. However, the Apni Party is committed to represent the people and protection to the interest of the people is our prime duty.”
He said that Altaf Bukhari has taken brave decisions to protect the rights of people when other politicians who ruled J&K were not willing to speak even a word for the people.
He said that the Legislative Assembly should be held without delay as it has given rise to anguish among the people.
In the meantime, Vice President, Apni Party, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali also highlighted various issues faced by the people in Rajouri.
He said that “As there is no elected Govt in place, the Govt officials compel people to line up outside their offices. They are not people friendly.”
“The elderly persons have to move from pillar to post to complete formalities to get a pension. Similarly, the development has stopped. The babus are working in a wayward manner,” he claimed.
He further stated that “The Forest Rights Act is one of the main issues that remain unaddressed even as this has been implemented in J&K. However, the people are not given ownership rights on the forest land despite providing documents.”
Addressing the people, Provincial President, Jammu, S. Manjit Singh said that Apni Party is committed for equitable development and protection of rights of the people.
He said that “Apni Party will provide 500 units of free electricity to every household during summers in Jammu region, and 300 units of free electricity during winter season. Similarly, we will ensure enhancement of widow / old age pension up to Rs 5000, four cooking gas cylinders per year under Ujjawala scheme, Rs 1 lakh marriage assistance to the girl from poor family within a month.” He also highlighted various other social security schemes.
In his address, the Former MLA Rajouri and Senior Apni Party Leader, Choudhary Qamar Ali also demanded statehood to J&K while complaining that the blocks have not got any funds from the Govt and the development has halted.
He said that “The Govt should not violate the rights of the people. The poor and marginalized people are not being given heed by the Govt officials.”
He demanded regularization of daily wagers and release of their pending wages.
At the end, the vote of thanks was given by District President, Rajouri, Syed Manzoor Hussain Shah. Other prominent people who were present in the public meeting include Bushan Uppal, BDC Shamima Akthar, Raqeeq Ahmed Khan, Munshi Alam Din, Fazal Chauhan, Choudhary Meer Hussain, Sain Khan, Haji Jamshed, Ali Choudhary, Sofi Alam Din, Ali Mohammed, Chairman, Mohammed Ashraf Khan, Khalil Lone, Iqbal Choudhary and others.