Basharat Bukhari’s Vacillating Foray into Politics
KD NEWS SERVICE
SRINAGAR, June 18: The path back to political relevance for the radio host-turned-politician Basharat Bukhari seems increasingly elusive. Political observers believe that he has not only relegated himself to the sidelines but pushed his political career into obscurity.
“His demeaning expulsion from Peoples Conference today has once again put a question mark on his political relevance in his constituency Kreeri in district Baramulla,” a political analyst observed, while talking to Kashmir Despatch.
After several years of being associated with the Peoples Democratic Party, Bukhari had surprised everyone by abruptly leaving the party. He cited ideological differences and a lack of alignment with the party’s vision as the reasons for his departure. This sudden shift in allegiance had raised eyebrows and left many wondering about his true intentions.
In a surprising turn of events, he later joined NC, a move that met with skepticism, as people questioned the sincerity behind his decision. Some saw it as a calculated move to gain personal and political advantages rather than a genuine ideological shift.
During his two-year tenure with the National Conference, Basharat Bukhari continued to struggle to establish himself as a credible leader within the party. His reputation had been tarnished by his frequent party-hopping, and many viewed him with suspicion. This lack of trust and his inability to make a significant impact within the party further eroded his political standing.
Just when it seemed like Bukhari had found a new political home, he shocked the public once again by leaving the National Conference. His reasons this time were less clear, and many speculated that it was due to internal disagreements or personal ambitions. Regardless of the underlying cause, his departure left a trail of disillusionment among his voters in its wake.
With limited options available, he then joined the Peoples Conference. However, his entry into the party was met with skepticism and hesitation. Many saw his arrival as opportunistic and questioned his loyalty and commitment. The Peoples Conference, having already witnessed a string of expulsions and internal conflicts, was reluctant to fully embrace Bukhari.
As time passed, it became evident that his constant party-hopping had taken a toll on his moral and political ground. The public trust in him had significantly waned, and his credibility as a leader was severely undermined. His actions were viewed as self-serving and motivated by personal gain rather than a genuine desire to serve the people.
Once with a promising political career, Bukhari spiraled into a series of disappointments and lost opportunities. His constant shifting of alliances not only damaged his reputation but also raised questions about his integrity and commitment to the welfare of the people.
A short recap in his political journey reveals that he left Peoples Democratic Party on December 18, 2018. He remained part of PDP till he was a minister and quit the party towards the end of 2018 after the Mehbooba government fell following withdrawal of support by BJP.
Bukhari joined National Conference (NC) where he spent over two years. He tendered his resignation from the basic membership of NC on March 13, 2021. In a separate letter to Omar Abdullah, Bukhari had expressed his gratitude to the NC vice president for his ‘love and affection’ towards him during his brief stint as a party member.
On March 29, 2021, he joined Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference just to be gracelessly being shown the door through a tweet which read: “Syed Basharat Bukhari (@AnNaqviBukhari), Constituency Head Kreeri, is hereby expelled from the party, for indulging in anti-party activities. Also all @JKPC and @YJKPC_ units of Kreeri stand dissolved and will be reconstituted after the new Constituency head assumes charge,” the Peoples Conference tweeted.
In an interview with a private news channel on June 17, Bukhari, had questioned the long absence of People Conference president Sajad Gani Lone. However, the party had not given details of the ‘anti-party’ activities of Bukhari.
Sources in Peoples Conference told Kashmir Despatch: “Amidst the growing expectations from Bukhari, cracks began to appear. Differences of opinion within the party’s leadership emerged. The internal conflicts intensified to a level of slander and abuses; resulting into Basharat Bukhari being one of its casualties.”
“Given his vacillating and unreliable political track record, the party has no place for such people,” highly placed authoritative sources in Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, revealed to Kashmir Despatch, adding that the Party has its own political representative in Kreeri constituency who has a hold and enjoys a comfortable position among the electorate.
While talking to Kashmir Despatch, a senior politician and Bukhari’s former colleague, wishing not be named, observed: “Basharat Bukhari’s journey from working in radio to political oblivion is a tale of shattered dreams and unexpected twists. He began his career using his charismatic voice to captivate listeners and share stories that resonated with the masses. However, his foray into politics proved to be a tumultuous path that ultimately led him to fade into political oblivion.”
His former colleague in National Conference remarked: “As his (Bukhari’s) credibility dwindled, so did his opportunities for advancement within the political sphere. Former supporters turned their backs on him, disillusioned by broken promises and a perceived abandonment of his promised principles.”
He added: “His journey from the airwaves to political oblivion serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the challenges and pitfalls that can accompany a transition into the political arena. It stands as a reminder that success in one field does not guarantee success in another and the pursuit of political power can often come at a high cost.”
A political observer opined that Bukhari is at crossroads in his political career, with uncertainty clouding his future. “His constant shifting of political affiliations left many questioning his moral and political standing, causing him to lose the trust and respect he once commanded.”
Speculations are rife that Bukhari might join the party led by Ghulam Nabi Azad. “For how much time, he will remain associated with Azad remains to be seen,” a political analyst remarked.