ANI Photo | “People of J-K are not fools”: Altaf Bukhari on NC, Congress claims of restoring statehood

President of the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, Altaf Bukhari on Sunday alleged National Conference and Congress of deceiving J-K citizens with false promise to restore the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir if they are voted to power.
In an interview with ANI, Bukhari said, “I want to say two things. The people of J-K are not fools to accept such things. It can either be restored by Parliament and the Supreme Court can’t do anything now. And I do not think that the National Conference can ever win 547 seats to get it changed in Parliament. And People’s Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti is saying that she will fight for 100 years. But the people here are no longer fools.”
In 2019, the Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which reconstituted the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs). The UTs are Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and the reorganisation took effect on October 31, 2019.
Earlier on April 8, the Congress and National Conference announced the seat-sharing agreement for the five constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and one constituency of Ladakh.
Under the seat-sharing agreement, the Congress will contest from the Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh parliamentary constituencies, while the National Conference will contest from the Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar and Baramulla Lok Sabha seats.
Bukhari further said that his party has a direct fight with the National Conference for the Srinagar seat.
“See, the Lok Sabha elections are being held after the abrogation of Article 370. From that point of view, it is an important election. Some seats from the south have been added to Srinagar. And Rajouri and Poonch were added to Anantnag. So, it is a different terrain together. There is a challenge. In Srinagar, we have a direct challenge with the National Conference.”
On Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) president Sajad Lone seeking help from JKAP to defeat NC from the Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, he said, “We have been talking to each other. He has remained as a cabinet colleague. We both come from North Kashmir. We are neighbours. We are also friends. It is OK. There are opponents in politics.”
Polling in Udhampur was held on April 19 (Phase 1), while Jammu, Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar, and Baramulla will poll on April 26, May 7, May 13, and May 20.
In 2019, polling for the Lok Sabha was held for six seats in Jammu and Kashmir. However, following the abrogation of Article 370, which resulted in the split of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state into two Union Territories–Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, there is no longer a separate Lok Sabha constituency for Ladakh.
In the 2019 elections, the BJP won three seats, while the National Conference won the remaining three.
The elections for 543 Lok Sabha seats will be held in seven phases starting on April 19. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 4

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