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1-min read

Meet Altaf Bukhari, J&K’s Richest Legislator and the Man Likely to Sit in CM's Seat

The development comes hours after it was reported that the talks between the three parties—National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and Congress—are at an advanced stage.

News18.com

Updated:November 21, 2018, 10:25 PM IST
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Meet Altaf Bukhari, J&K’s Richest Legislator and the Man Likely to Sit in CM's Seat
File photo of Altaf Bukhari (Photo by Bilal Bahadur)
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Srinagar: The tussle to form a government in the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir seems to have finally come to an end. According to the sources, Altaf Bukhari will be the chief minister if and when the PDP-NC-Congress coalition comes to power.

The development comes hours after it was reported that the talks between the three parties—National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and Congress—are at an advanced stage, in order to stymie the BJP's attempts to take power after engineering defections.

Bukhari, a businessman-turned-politician, is a senior PDP leader and former finance minister. Under the PDP-BJP coalition, he was the state’s education minister and was later assigned the additional charge of finance, labour and employment departments after the then finance minister, Hasseb Drabu, was dropped from the council of ministers.

Earlier, Bukhari held the portfolio of R&B minister during the tenure of Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Bukhari, who represents the Amira Kadal constituency in Srinagar, was the richest candidate in 2014 Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir with assets worth Rs 84 crore.

In September 2018, Bukhari also welcomed the suggestion of J&K Civil Society Coordination Committee for a tie-up between NC and PDP for “formation of the new government in Jammu and Kashmir to defend the Article 35-A and to fight communal forces.”

In the PDP inner circles, Bukhari is seen as a staunch critic of the BJP. In 2017, when he was a minister in the PDP-BJP coalition government, Bukhari had trained guns against some BJP ministers and called them out for their “intellectual bankruptcy” when it comes to understanding the Kashmir issue.

“Bullets can’t win you a battle of ideas. PDP believes that dialogue is the only way out. Unfortunately, instead of initiating dialogue as a confidence-building measure to re-instill a sense of belonging among bruised Kashmiris, some BJP insiders are trying to sabotage the whole peace process initiated under Mr Vajpayee regime,” Bukhari had said.



| Edited by: Anu Parthiban
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