Apni Party not to support National Conference’s Gupkar Declaration

JKAP president Bukhari says the bedrock of his party is based on realism, pragmatic politics

The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) on Thursday decided not to support the Gupkar Declaration, spearheaded by National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and supported by six regional parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party.

After two days of meetings, JKAP president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this year, on Thursday said, “The bedrock of my party is based on realism and pragmatic politics.”

Mr. Bukhari said the JKAP, besides pursuing important socio-political and economic targets highlighted in the party agenda, would press for an early hearing on the petition challenging removal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in the Supreme Court.

In a joint resolution, the party said any further delay in restoration of statehood by the Government of India would add to the already existing hopelessness and alienation among the people. “No arbitrary increase in Assembly or parliamentary segments by the Delimitation Commission will be acceptable and the party will put forth its viewpoint based on suggestions and objections, if any, before the commission at an appropriate time,” the resolution read.

Calls for polls

The party called for elections without any delay in Jammu and Kashmir. “It has no substitute in a democratic set up,” the JKAP added.

NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said the JKAP might have accepted the measures undertaken on August 5 as “fait accompli” but the NC, a signatory of the Gupkar declaration, had joined a common cause to restore the honour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

He accused the JKAP of lowering the sanctity of democracy.

“The JKAP has remarked that if Articles 370, 35A were restored ‘they will shut their political shop’. It is unfortunate to see the Apni Party drag down politics to the level of barter and trade. The statement is disrespectful. It is indeed an eye-opener for the people,” the NC spokesman said.

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