Srinagar, Jan 18 : Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Minster Altaf Bukhari, here on Saturday, dared senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to prove his allegations against him or quit Parliament on moral grounds.
Reacting to media reports in which Azad had been quoted as saying that some Congress leaders were being threatened to join the “Third Front” or face false cases, Bukhari said it was unfortunate that a leader like Azad was playing cheap politics.
In a press statement Bukhari said, “I hold Azad in high esteem, but it’s unfortunate that he has made baseless allegations against me and my colleagues, stooping this low for doing petty politics.”
Bukhari said he neither held power nor was in a position to misuse the state machinery or agencies, as used to be done during the Congress-led regimes in J&K.
“I have reiterated that I am joined by some friends, colleagues and well-wishers of J&K to raise and address the sufferings caused to the people by whosoever has been at the helm of affairs in J&K and in the Centre,” Bukhari said.
He said several senior Congress leaders were in touch with him, but there was no question of coercing them or extending any favour as had been alleged by Azad. “Many Congress leaders share the same vision, passion and motivation to serve people in their own capacities and are coming forward for that,” he said.
The remark by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha had exposed Azad’s respect for his party colleagues in J&K, whom he termed imprudent to take any decision on their own, Bukhari said.
“The Congress style of politics is over. There is no question of forcing anybody or extending any facilities to someone to garner his/her support for a sacred cause. Yes, Azad is right in his saying that he has run the government and knows about those tricks.
“But let me remind him that the era of manipulations and political manoeuvring is over. I and my friends want the people to get rid of this type of politics. People know everything. My colleagues and friends in the Congress are not politically naive that anybody could take them for a ride,” the PDP leader said.
Some leaders who represented people in J&K House had come together to resolve the injustice committed to the people on August 5, 2019, he said.
“Why the efforts in this direction — for restoration of some of achievable rights — have send shivers down the spine of Congress leadership,” Bukhari said.
Azad was unable to find any fault with his memorandum to the Lieutenant Governor and was trying to malign his own colleagues who came forward to safeguard the people’s interests, Bukhari said.
The PDP leader said the people remembered the communal politics of 2008, causing death and destruction in J&K, and added, the people also remembered the self-centred and despicable laws, like the Roshni Act, that favoured their blue eyed acquaintances at the cost of state.
“Instead of finding faults in others, the Congress leadership, including Azad, should do self-analysis and soul-searching and see how the party is responsible for death, destruction and disintegration of J&K in the last 72 years,” Bukhari said.