In 2019, J&K politicians sought votes to protect Art 370, but stitched their lips in Parliament: Altaf Bukhari

Srinagar, Dec 15: Lashing out at the regional political parties—National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for befooling the people of Srinagar on one or the other pretext over the past 70 years, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president Tuesday said in 2019, political leaders from J&K sought votes from people to protect Article 370 but same leaders “stitched their mouths” in Parliament on August 5, 2019.

Addressing the maiden rally of Apni Party at SK Park, Srinagar, Bukhari, said that time has gone for those who used to befool people of Srinagar on hollow slogans and fake promises. “In June 2019, these leaders sought votes from the people in Srinagar and elsewhere with a promise to protect Article 370. But on August 5, 2019, they couldn’t utter a word in Parliament as if their mouths were stitched,” Bukhari said .

He said that August 5, 2019 is a black day in the history of J&K and not a single citizen of J&K can forget this day. Taking at a dig at National Conference and PDP, Bukhari said that Srinagar and its people have been left to suffer for the past 70 years. “Aren’t those who ruled Srinagar for 70 years responsible for the mess prevailing in Srinagar? Who is responsible for the rising unemployment in Srinagar, decline of historic places? What happened to historic Nalaimar in downtown and historic Eidgah,” Bukhari said in an obvious reference to NC and PDP. He said that isn’t it true that Srinagar people voted for a particular party for 70 years? “What did they do for the people of Srinagar? Isn’t it true that 10 years were given to another party and they too failed,” he said.

Posing a question to NC and PDP, since they ruled J&K for 70 years, what happened to their tall promises that include: “plebiscite, autonomy, self-rule and dual currency?” “These leaders met Prime Minister Narendera Modi but never revealed what they discussed with PM Modi. Didn’t we have the right to know what these leaders discussed?” Bukhari questioned.

He said time is over when one would play with the emotions of people of Srinagar by showing “green handkerchiefs etc.” “We don’t promise sky as the Apni Party is just a 9-month old baby, but we will strive hard for safeguarding the interests of the people of Srinagar,” said Bukhari, the former PDP leader and the former minister for finance.

Terming the PAGD “a drama”, Bukhari said that one party was accusing another of being a creation of L K Advani while another leader was being criticized for calling PM Modi as his elder brother and today “all of them are in an alliance.” “The real face of this alliance will come to fore when Assembly polls will be held,” Bukhari said. Taking a jibe at PAGD, Bukhari said that in the delimitation exercise, the alliance were supposed to participate but they stayed away. “Let me tell you, boycotting something also is a way to help someone,” he said. “Time is over for the politics of deceit. Truth can’t be kept hidden from the people now anymore.”

Bukhari expressed hope that the tourism industry of Kashmir that was crumbling post abrogation of article 370 has started picking up once again after the recent snowfall and there are tourism related activities across Kashmir. “I am hopeful tourism industry will see a revival in the months ahead and the players involved in it will once again feed their families with a smile on their faces and Kashmir’s economy gets a big boost,” he said—(KNO)

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