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‘Will ensure 25 year stay for Kashmir citizenship’: ‘BJP proxy’ says ‘will hit streets for statehood’

Stating that Article 370 can be restored only by the Indian Parliament, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, which has been dubbed as the proxy of BJP, Monday said that they will not hesitate to hit the streets if New Delhi fails to restore the statehood of the disputed territory.

On the occasion of the first foundation day anniversary, Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said that much was promised in 1947, but nothing was given. “We have to fight for the restoration of statehood to J&K. Our demand also is to hold Assembly elections as soon as possible,” Bukhari, who quit the Peoples Democratic Party, last year, said. The Apni Party was floated on March 08, 2020.

Bukhari, who is considered to be close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, said the agenda framed by his party on the day of its birth was pursued in letter and spirit but certain things like prolonged shutdown in the wake of Article 370 revocation and slicing of the erstwhile state of J&K into two UTs followed by Covid-19 outbreak, “we couldn’t pursue our manifesto the way it should have been.”

“Nevertheless, we did our best and didn’t sit in our homes. We didn’t either show hollow dreams to people of J&K and never promised something that is not achievable,” the businessman-politician said.

Asked why he is not demanding restoration of special status, he said that he can’t make false promises as it was the Parliament of India that can restore special status to J&K.

“I would like to make it clear that August 5, 2019, was the darkest day in the history of J&K that nobody will forget. We will strive hard for the restoration of Statehood to J&K and if Delhi delays it, we will not hesitate to hit the streets,” he said.

“We are also aware of the ploys as to how J&K Bank was weakened by stripping off its autonomy. This institution is our backbone and we will continue to fight for the restoration of its autonomy,” he said.

Demanding early Assembly polls, Bukhari said that if Apni Party is voted to power, it will take historic steps especially making 25 years mandatory for becoming the domicile of the state. “We ensured that land policy is amended and today, our 88 percent land is safe which is the outcome of our meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah,” he said.

Bukhari lamented on the National Conference’s decision of staying away from the Delimitation Exercise. “The biggest party could have participated in the process and put forth its point. They choose otherwise and I at times believe, boycotting something is aimed at facilitating the bigger plans. Perhaps, Delhi’s plan was to be made successful by staying away,” he said, taking a jibe at NC.

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