Future Govt in J&K: New Political Front in Offing

SRINAGAR – Hectic parleys are on with several former PDP politicians preparing ground for launching a new front to take over reigns of future civilian government in Jammu and Kashmir, media reports suggest.

According to these reports Muhammad Altaf Bukhari, former minister and MLA, Amira Kadal along with another party stalwart Muzaffar Hussain Beig have emerged as key figures of the potential third front in absence of established parties like National Conference and PDP. According to CNS 72 politicians from Jammu and Kashmir have come together, to decide the future course for the formation of government in J&K.

Quoting sources the report revealed that those who have held deliberations include former Parliament members Muzzafar Hussain Beigh, Tariq Hamid Karra, Rajya Sabha MP Nazir Laway, Bashir Ahmed Mir, former MLA’s Haseeb Drabu, Abdul Rahim Rather, Khaleel Band, Zahoor Ahmed Mir, Dr Mohammad Shafi, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Hakeem Yasin, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Abdul Rashid Dar, Usman Majid, Abdul Haq Khan and Nazir Ahmed Yatoo.

If report is to be believed most of these politicians have come together to keep former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti out of political scene of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources said that Muzzafar Hussain Beigh, Abdul Rahim Rather, Muntazir Mohudin, Nazir Ahmed Yatoo and Abdul Haq Khan and few more have opposed the idea of shrinking political space for the two former chief ministers, however they are still a part of the group having confided faith in Altaf Bukhari.

Sources also revealed that the group has the support of New Delhi to prepare for legislative assembly elections.

It was also learnt that Altaf Bukhari enjoys the support of maximum of the group members and stage is being set for him to head the government in future, after the elections are being held in J&K.

Sources said that New Delhi is considering introduction of Article 371 in Jammu and Kashmir to extend residency rights to people, to the provide credit and legitimacy to future government on one hand and to bury Article 370 in the books of history for ever.

“New Delhi is considering introduction of Article 371 in Jammu and Kashmir to extend residency rights to people, to the provide credit and legitimacy to future government on one hand and to bury Article 370 in the books of history for ever.” (CNS)

Let’s Evolve Consensus on Contesting Polls: Baig

Senior PDP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Baig has said that politicians in J&K must evolve a common strategy on the issue of contesting elections.

“If political parties have some understanding with central government then they should contest,” Baig told IANS in an exclusive interview.

“Otherwise, the excuse will be you did not contest the elections, you are not the representatives of the people and why should we listen to you to restore the statehood and grant you the benefits of Article 371 of the Constitution of India.”

He said the decision on contesting elections will arise only after political leaders are released and have an interaction with civil society of Kashmir and people from Jammu and Leh.

He said political parties in Kashmir must forget their differences to raise the issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir with the Centre in a single voice and get assurances on the promise of statehood and fight for bringing Jammu and Kashmir under the ambit of Article 371.

He said if political parties don”t set aside their differences, a new force may emerge.

He state the Assembly has hardly any powers in a Union Territory. He asked why people would contest elections if they are disempowered.

He said once there are assurance by the Prime Minister and the Home Minister that after the situation improves Jammu and Kashmir”s statehood would be restored, political leaders should politely urge the government of India to redeem its pledge.

“Now whether this is done before the elections or after the elections is a matter of detail,” he said. “But there must be an understanding. We are a hill state and the Constitution has provided special provisions under Article 371 for all the hill states with domicile rights like those they enjoyed under Article 35A.”

He said domicile rights should also protect the right to property, jobs etc while the Supreme Court judgement is against the petitions challenging the Centre”s move to revoke Article 370.

He said the starting point for any political activity in Jammu and Kashmir would be the release of the detainees.

“I think they have been detained under section 107 for which people can be released against personal bonds,” he said, adding “Those who have criminal or corruption cases against them should be tried in court.”

He said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir poses a historic challenge and demands consensus.

“It”s only in a crisis that the true leadership is tested,” he said.

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