Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari

SRINAGAR — Amid reports that an advisory council is being set up led by Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP), its president Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Wednesday said he will speak at an appropriate time on this issue.

“I don’t want to comment on this issue. I will speak but at appropriate time,” Bukhari said over phone.

Another JKAP party leader also refused to comment on this issue. “I will neither confirm it nor deny it. The speculations could also be true,” the party leader said, wishing not to be quoted by name.

There are some reports that Centre is setting up an advisory council led by Bukhari in early June as an alternative political front.

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Bukhari, who is camping in New Delhi as per some media reports, also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah recently. In March this year, a delegation of JKAP leaders led by Bukhari also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

As per media reports, Usman Majid, Vijay Bakaya, Sunil Sharma, Sunil Sethi and Chowdhary Zulfikar would be part of the advisory council.

Quoting former Secretary General of the Lok Sabha, P.D.T. Acharya, an IANS report said: “The advisory council in an UT helps the LG in the day-to-day administration. The real power is vested in the LG. The head of the advisory council cannot get the power of the CM. The advisory council also cannot make laws. The Constitution allows the President to administer UT through LG, but only the Parliament has the power to make law.”

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In March this year, Bukhari floated his own party. The party’s core agenda is restoring statehood for the region.

He had held the Education and Finance portfolios in the erstwhile State’s PDP-BJP coalition government. Bukhari was expelled from the PDP in January 2019 following allegations that he “inspired and led dissent in the party”.

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