On Women Day, A Lady’s Political Legacy Shatters

by Tahir Bhat

SRINAGAR: Apni Party founder, Syed Altaf Bukhari made a special mention of the “significance of the day” that was chosen to launch the new political party. He said his party will work 24 x 7 for all the 365 days for “half of the population”.

It was a reference towards the International Day for Women, being celebrated across the world on March 8. Unlike other parties, Bukhari said Apni Party will not have family ownership but will belong to the people.

Later, talking to media, Ghulam Hassan Mir, his old-time friend and confidant and a key player in Apni Party also mentioned the day. “The party was launched on the Women’s’ Day,” Mir, the erstwhile founding member of the PDP, said. “We will work for the empowerment of the women 24 x 7 for all the 365 days”. He said the party will work for the people and is looking forward to seeing how Jammu and Kashmir marches ahead in progress.

What was interesting, however, that both the veterans of the new initiative forgot that they launched their initiative on women’s day that witnessed almost undoing of a political party that was led by a woman. Mehbooba Mufti, the colleague of both of them, is currently in custody under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act. She was earlier in a hut on Cheshma Shahi and was later shifted to a bungalow on the M A Road that was declared a sub-jail.

A file photo former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti with Syed Altaf Bukhari. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

In fact, most of the membership of Apni Party came from the PDP. These included former lawmakers and leaders: Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Mohammad Dilwar Mir, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Abdul Majeed Paddar, Abdul Rahim Rather, Choudhary Qamar Hussain, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali, Raja Manzoor, Javed Ahmad Beig, Yawar Dilawar Mir, Javed Mirchal, Dr Samiullah, Muntazar Mohiuddin, Showkat Gayour.

Most of these politicians like Bukhari had resigned from PDP earlier. Some of them recently parted ways to join the new initiative. Ghulam Hassan Mir who has cofounded the PDP parted ways in the very first term of the PDP in power when Muzaffar Hussain Beig emerged as Deputy to Ghulam Nabi Azad, unlike Mir.

Bukhari said in his presser that some more faces will be joining Apni Party in coming days. However, what was visible was the lack of any women’s face on the very first day of a new party that was launched on the Women’s’ Day.

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