Srinagar, Feb 23:
Former minister Altaf Bukhari and his team are in the process of framing the
constitution of ‘Apni Party’, the third front being formed to kick-start the
stalled political process in Kashmir, courtesy Centre’s detention of major
“The draft constitution has entered its final
stage and is awaiting approval. We will declare our party anytime as all the
formalities have been completed,” Bukhari said in an exclusive chat with The
‘Apni Party’ is
meant to work as a third front to resume political activities in Kashmir at a
time when three former CMs and other major political leaders are facing PSAs
and detention since August when J&K simultaneously lost its statehood and
Bukhari, a former
PDP Minister, has been busy lately in garnering support of those political
leaders, who managed to remain free, possibly in lieu of their silence.
Bukhari met BJP National General Secretary, Ram Madhav in Gulmarg, who,
interestingly, a day after said that he wants the situation in Jammu and
Kashmir to become conducive for normal political activity to resume.
Sunday, senior Congress leader and former MLA Bandipora Usman Majeed resigned
from the party to join hands with Bukhari.
Bukhari’s team, so far, includes former MLA Ghulam Hassan Mir, and former PDP
leaders Dilwar Mir, Javaid Beigh, Noor Muhammad Shiekh, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Abdul
Majeed Paddar, and Abdul Raheem Rather.
The buzz of a
‘third front’ was further confirmed when in January these former MLAs met
Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu and envoys of 15 countries during the
latter’s visit to Kashmir.
Bukhari said his
party will differentiate itself from the mainstream parties through its “agenda
of working to solve the issues of people”.
“After August 5,
people lost their hopes as economy, development took a back seat. Our party
will raise issues like providing domicile rights over land and jobs, releasing
of political leadership from detention, protecting J&K Bank’s autonomy,” he
“We are not
hereditary politicians but common people. Apni Party is a party run by common
people for common people. When we thought of its name, we considered interests
of all the regions,” he said.
Majeed also confirmed his association with Bukhari and said they are going to
work together “for betterment of people.”
“Yes, I have
resigned from Congress as the party has a specific agenda which is no different
from that of BJP. I just needed a free space to work for the betterment of
people and decided to quit the party. We are many former MLAs who are with
Altaf Sahab,” he said.