SRINAGAR – Former Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, was on Saturday unanimously elected as the President by the members of his new political party scheduled to be launched here on Sunday.
The ex-PDP minister’s name for the post of President was proposed by former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir and was seconded by former legislator and Chief Secretary Vijay Bakaya and other ex-legislators.
The meeting over dinner took place at the residence of Altaf Bukhari at Sheikhbagh Lal Chowk on Saturday evening.
All the participants in the meeting later unanimously reposed their support and elected Bukhari as their President. The formal launch of the party –tipped to be named as Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party — will be held on Sunday afternoon.
The political leaders who participated in the meeting included Mohammad Dilawar Mir, Usman Majeed, Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Abdul Majeed Padder, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Javed Beig, Rafi Mir, Zaffar Manhas, Abdul Rahim Rather, Raja Manzoor, Kamal Arora, Yawar Mir, Noor Mohammed Sheikh, Javed Mirchal, Shoaib Lone, Choudhary Qamar, Syed Asghar Ali, Faqeer Mohammad, Muntazir Mohouddin, G.M. Bhawan, Hilal ahmad Shah, Neilangan Arora, Vikram Malhotra, Mudasir Amin, Mohammad Ashraf Dar, Samiullah, Kavel Singh, Jagmohan Singh Raina, Manjeet Singh, Irfan Naqeeb and Farooq Andrabi, among other prominent leaders from across Jammu and Kashmir.
Almost all the leaders addressed the meeting and deliberated on the prevailing socio-economic and political situation which has emerged after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year.
In January, a Bukhari-led delegation had presented a memorandum to J&K Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu listing measures for the revival of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Ashraf Mir Quits PDP, Joins Bukhari-Led Party
PDP leader and former minister Ashraf Mir on Saturday resigned from the party and will join a new outfit being floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.
Bukhari, who also left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last year, is expected to announce the new formation here on Sunday.
“Yes, I resigned from the PDP today and join Bhukhari led party,” Mir told PTI.
Mir, the former MLA from Sonwar, was a minister in the Mehbooba Mufti-led cabinet. Mir had defeated NC leader Omar Abdullah in the 2014 assembly polls. Abdullah also contested from the Beerwah constituency in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, which he won.
NC Leader Says Not Joining ‘Aapki Party’
Former MLA and National Conference leader Dr Gagan Bhagat on Saturday expressed surprise over reports of him joining a new political party being launched by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari.
“National Conference is a premier political party having unflinching commitment to secularism and unity between the regions”, Mr Bhagat told reporters at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here, adding that this party alone can steer Jammu and Kashmir to peace, progress and development.
He said he was distraught and surprised over the baseless reports of his joining the new party, adding that he cannot even think of leaving his party, the custodian of J&K’s secular ethos. He reaffirmed his faith in the leadership of National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Mr Omar Abdullah.
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