Press Trust of India

LG Sinha has promised to take up JK statehood restoration demand with PM this week: Bukhari

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari said Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha promised a party delegation on Sunday that he would take up its statehood restoration demand with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week.

The Apni Party delegation called on the lieutenant governor at the Raj Bhavan here and raised issues such as the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and the cancellation of recruitment tests.

“We are happy that the LG promised he will take up the issue (of statehood restoration) with the prime minister and the (Union) home minister this week itself. He said the government has promised it on the floor of Parliament, Bukhari told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan.

“The restoration of statehood is a very serious matter and it is a priority for our party…if people support us, the Apni Party will get back the identity that was taken away from us,” he said.

Bukhari said Sinha also promised the delegation that the recruitment exams would be re-conducted within two months and these will be held first for those whose selection process was cancelled so that they do not suffer more injustice. He also assured that these would be held in a transparent manner.

He said the LG assured that the issue of the preventive detention of youths would be considered on a case-to-case basis.

“Overall, the LG was positive and, in a positive mood, told us that these issues concern the people and will be addressed in a time-bound manner,” the Apni Party chief said.

Asked about the Jammu and Kashmir chief electoral officer inviting political parties for a meeting on the special summary revision of electoral rolls, Bukhari said it is part of normal process and the party’s representatives will participate in it.

“But I have been saying that Delhi thinks (conducting) election is a favour to J-K. This is our right, we are in a democratic country, our grassroots democracy has not been restored for four years now and so, the election should be held,” he said.

Asked if he chose the day for the meeting as the Congress party was organising its rally against prise rise and Ghulam Nabi Azad also holding a public meeting in Jammu, Bukhari said there is no connection and the party got the date for the meeting from the Raj Bhavan.

“We started our public outreach from Kupwara last month. Many new parties will come. You will see 15-20 new parties here. They will continue to come,” he said, referring to the formation of a political party by Azad who resigned from the Congress last month.

“It is his (Azad’s) party, and for him to decide what he does with it. We do not even know yet whether there is a party or not,” Bukhari added.

The party delegation also submitted a memorandum to the LG and expressed hope that the government will take steps to address these issues in the interest of the general public and for achieving an overall conducive atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We demand the restoration of statehood before Assembly elections are held. The necessity to demand the restoration of statehood is to exude a sense of confidence among the people of J-K.

“For administrative empowerment, good governance, better devolution of powers in a federal structure and to address the lost sense of dignity and honour, restoration of statehood will play an important role,” the memorandum read.

The Apni Party reiterates that this is an appropriate time to win the confidence of the people and to address the alienation among the youth of J-K by restoring the statehood at the earliest, it stated.

In August 2019, the central government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state into Union territories.

On the release of detained youths, the party memorandum said that for the Independence Day, smooth conduct of the Amarnath Yatra and overall tourist season, preventive detention of the youths had taken place in many districts.

“It has been long since such youths have been in preventive custody. The parents of these youths and the respective local communities have a genuine demand for their release.

“We strongly believe that integrating the youth of J-K into the mainstream and providing them with a credible and viable platform will allow them to contribute their best in nation-building. Therefore, it is imperative that such youths languishing in custody are released without any further delay,” the party stated.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman said the delegation submitted a memorandum of demands, including restoration of statehood, speedy recruitment processes for the youth.

The Lt Governor said Home Minister Amit Shah had made a detailed statement on the floor of Parliament that the statehood would be restored at an appropriate time.

The LG said the recruitment exams for police sub-inspector, junior engineer and finance account assistant were cancelled due to irregularities and a CBI probe was ordered. He said fresh examinations would be conducted by October.

“Vacancies of different posts in various government departments would be advertised in the coming two months, he said.

The LG also said the issues raised by the delegation would be addressed based on merit.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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