Azad must prove his allegation or quit from Parliament: Altaf Bukhari
SRINAGAR: Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday challenged senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to prove his allegations against him or otherwise resign from his present position in Parliament on moral grounds.
Reacting to media reports wherein Azad has been quoted saying that some Congress leaders were being threatened to join “Third Front” or otherwise they well get implicated in some false cases, Bukhari said that it is very unfortunate that a leader like Mr. Azad is playing cheap politics.
“Let me put it on record that I hold Azad Saheb in high esteem but it is very unfortunate that he has leveled baseless allegations against me and my colleagues stooping so low for doing petty politics,” the former finance minister observed. Bukhari said that he neither holds any power nor is in any position to misuse State machinery or agencies, like has been the precedence in Congress, led regimes in the State.
“I have often repeated that I am joined by some of my friends, colleagues and well-wishers of Jammu and Kashmir to raise and address the sufferings caused to the people by whosoever has been at the helms of affairs in the State and in the Centre,” Bukhari remarked.
He said that it is a fact that a number of senior Congress leaders are in touch with him but there is no question of coercing them or extending any facilities like Azad sahib has pointed out in his statement. “There are many Congress leaders who share the same vision, passion and motivation to serve their people in their own capacities and thus are coming forward in that direction day by day,” he added.
Bukhari said that the remarks made by the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha have exposed Azad sahib’s respect for his party colleagues in Jammu and Kashmir whom he has brandished as imprudent to take any decision on their own.
“The Congress style of politics is over. There is no question of forcing anybody or extending any facilities to someone to garner his or her support for a sacred cause. Yes, Azad sahib is right in his saying that he has run the government and knows about those tricks. But let me remind the Congress veteran that era of manipulations and political manoeuvring is over. In fact, I and my friends also want our people to get rid of this type of politics. People know who is who and my colleagues and friends in Congress are not politically naïve that anybody could take them at a ride,” Bukhari said.
He challenged the former chief minister to prove his allegations and corroborate his remarks or else quit from the position he holds in the Parliament. “Some of the political leaders who have represented people in J&K Legislature have united and have evolved a mutual consensus to get rid of the injustices committed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019. I wonder why the efforts in the direction for restoration of some of the achievable rights of our people have send shivers down the spine of Congress leadership,” Bukhari questioned, adding that it is ironic that Azad was unable to find faults in his memorandum submitted to the Lieutenant Governor but is trying to malign his own colleagues who have come forward out of their own free will to safeguard the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Bukhari said that people in Jammu and Kashmir still remember the communal politics that was played during 2008 causing death and destruction across the erstwhile State. He added that people in Jammu and Kashmir also remember the self-centred and despicable laws like Roshni Act and other cabinet decisions that favoured power echelons and some blue-eyed acquaintances of the then regimes at the cost of state exchequer.
“I think instead of finding faults in others who have come forward to serve the public interest, Congress leadership including Azad should go for a thorough self-analysis and soul searching and see how Congress is responsible for the death, destruction and disintegration of Jammu and Kashmir in last 72 years,” Bukhari averred.
Regarding the Congress leadership’s allegations that BJP is propping up some new groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Bukhari reiterated that he and his colleagues deem all political parties including BJP equally responsible for the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “We have time and again cleared this fact that if not more, BJP is equally responsible for the mess created in Jammu and Kashmir.”
On the other hand, the former finance minister said that if the allegations levelled against him by Azad, are proven correct, he will not take a second to leave the politics forever.