Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and former finance minister Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari Wednesday ridiculed the remarks made by BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and spokesman Anil Gupta in which BJP leaders had asked PDP to reconsider its decision of boycotting upcoming Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and Panchayat polls.
In a statement, Bukhari said Madhav was well aware of his own party leadership which displayed an utter disregard to elected representatives and dishonored democratic institution like the Legislative Assembly in Jammu Kashmir.
“Now boasting about decentralization of powers to grassroots level through an electoral exercise that can’t be held in an atmosphere of political uncertainty in Kashmir is preposterous and unreasonable proposition,” the PDP leader said.
He said the objectives of devolution of powers cannot be achieved at a time when people of Jammu Kashmir are fraught with efforts being made to muzzle their special political identity by fiddling with Article 35-A and other rights guaranteed under the constitution.
“After subverting the democratic process by showing scant regard for an elected government, BJP is now trying to scratch the wounded psyche of people by pushing them for untimely municipal and Panchayat elections,” Bukhari said.
He said the situation in Kashmir could have been entirely different, if GoI would have implemented its Agenda of Alliance (AoA) and fulfilled its publicly announced promises like immediate introduction of confidence building measures and initiating a comprehensive dialogue with all stakeholders in the Valley.
“Unfortunately, the BJP didn’t weigh the risks of dishonouring democracy in J&K and never tried to draw lessons from a history that has witnessed the subversion of democratic institutions and popular elected representatives at a grave cost to the State and the interests of its people,” he said.
On Anil’s remarks that PDP is in competition with NC and believes in dynasty politics, Bukhari said PDP through its pro people polices has emerged as a strong regional force representing true aspirations of the all regions and sub-regions of the State.
“Previously when PDP forged an alliance with BJP, the decision was taken purely keeping in view the interests of people of Kashmir. Now today when NC says something that is in the interest of Kashmiris, how can PDP duck out of its responsibility of protecting the interests of our people,” he said.
Bukhari said in the interest of the State and its people in particular, PDP would not shy away from fighting any nefarious designs jointly with NC and other regional political forces for safeguarding the special constitutional position of Jammu Kashmir.
“PDP neither believes in dynasty politics nor is it in competition with any regional or national party. This party has earned credibility of the people through its convictions and commitments. Our party is committed to safeguard the special status of our State with people’s support and cooperation,” he said.
He also reiterated PDP’s stand saying that any attempt to impose any electoral exercise in the current atmosphere of fear and apprehension would seriously erode the credibility of the process.