SRINAGAR: Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday vehemently advocated 33 per cent reservation for women in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
Bukhari was speaking to media persons at the sidelines of a Party function here at Apni Party office in Lal Chowk Srinagar.
“Our party believes in the real empowerment of women in Jammu and Kashmir. And that dream will be realized when we have a considerable number of women lawmakers in our Legislative Assembly,” Bukhari remarked.
Asked about today’s elections to the posts of DDC Chairperson and vice-chairperson in five districts of Baramulla, Bandipora, Ramban, Kishtwar, and Poonch, Bukhari described these polls as a ‘significant coincidence’.
“In all these districts, we have strong women contenders and I wish all of them good luck. Yeh Sabh tou APNI hain… these are all our sisters from J&K. We need to support them wholeheartedly. Women of J&K have proven their mettle in almost every field,” he said.
Bukhari said that running the day-to-day family affairs is a herculean task; and, “I have no qualms in saying that they can prove good lawmakers and administrators if given a level playing field.”
Apni Party President said that his party will actively fight for 33% reservation for women in the J&K Legislative Assembly on the analogy of the District Development Councils (DDCs) where the women have a got fair representation.
Asked about the poor performance of Mehbooba Mufti, the first woman chief minister of J&K, Apni Party president said: “We should not give sweeping statements. Failure of a woman does not mean failure of the entire womenfolk. Women in J&K have extraordinary talent and they can contribute in making this society better. Therefore, Apni Party wants fair representation of women in our legislature,” he added.
On a question that the elected DDC Chairpersons, Vice-Chairpersons, and Members are still craving for requisite escort, offices, official accommodation, and other basic requirements mandated for elected representatives, Bukhari said that unfortunately, a section of officers in J&K does not want democracy to flourish in J&K. “This is why these elected representatives are being pushed from pillar to post for these basic requirements. I appeal to the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha Ji to intervene in this matter and resolve it enabling the elected DDC members, Chairpersons, and VCs to function at an earliest,” he stated.
When asked about the significance of March 8, when Apni Party was founded in J&K, Bukhari said: “Foundation day of Apni Party was laid on March 8 and fortunately, this day is celebrated across the world as International Women’s Day. So you can say that Apni Party is an ardent believer in socio-economic and political empowerment of women of J&K.”