Apni Party Mulls Resignation By Its DDC Members

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Says J&K Admin Failing To Empower Local Bodies

Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, which was formed after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions in 2019, on Monday threatened that its District Development Council members will submit their resignations alleging that their work to assist people in remote areas was being hindered by the union territory administration.

Reminding the union territory administration of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on empowering local bodies, JKAP chief Altaf Bukhari said his council members were either not allowed to function or their movement had been completely restricted.

“We are left with no other option but to resign because the UT administration is time and again failing us and not allowing us to deliver on the ground and provide relief to the people in remote villages. I do not wish to show false dreams to the people,” Bukhari told PTI here.

The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party had won 15 seats on its symbol and independents supported by it bagged another 21 seats, taking its total to 36 out of the 280 across the union territory. Two more members from other parties had crossed over to it later.

Bukhari said there is a huge gap between the administration and the common people.

“Nobody is listening to the woes of the common man. Panchayat leaders were congratulated by Home Minister Amit Shah but unfortunately on ground they have not been empowered.

“And the result is people feel disillusioned and those who were elected feel cheated. And if remedial measures are not taken, people will lose faith in the system of Panchayati Raj. Therefore, before that happens, it is better that our council members sit at home rather than making fake promises to the people,” he said.

Bukhari, a businessman-turned-politician, said that when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was abrogated in August 2019, the prime minister had assured all-round development of Jammu and Kashmir.

“I am sorry to say I did not see on ground the development which was committed by the prime minister on the day Article 370 was abrogated,” he said.

He said it was committed “to us that we will see huge scale investment and development in this area. I am sure the prime minister has intentions to see the people of Jammu and Kashmir high on development and investments but I am sorry to say that the local administration here seems not to do anything about it.”

Bukhari agreed that the job of politicians was to make mass contact with the civilian population despite threats from terror groups.

“Since 1990, mainstream politicians have been targeted by various terror groups. We cannot wait for the last gun to fall silent and rather we can make our voice more important than that of the gunshot through our mass contact. But at the end we need to deliver to them,” he said, adding “that is where we fail because the administration is not listening at all”.

“We are swimming in the sea of democracy but the present administration in the union territory is tying our hands,” he added, while trying to explain the plight of his council members.

Referring to the abrogation of special status, Bukhari said the matter is before the Supreme Court and “let me tell you honestly I pray to God that the top court decides as per the aspiration of my people.”

However, he said, that has not stopped his party for fighting for the rights of people. “I am thankful to the prime minister that he addressed the issue of protecting jobs and land when I had called on him in March last year.”

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