Apni Party president Syed Altaf Bukhari in a rally in Srinagar on Tuesday accused the Gupkar Alliance of playing politics by in the name of restoration of article 370 and said that over the last 70 years political leaders had sold dreams of plebiscite, autonomy, self-rule and dual currency to the people of Kashmir.
"Where is all that and where is the basic development...? Emotional slogans and green handkerchief can't work any more," said the former minister in an attack against political rivals, especially Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration comprising of seven mainstream parties including National Conference and PDP.
"This city won't forgive those who have exploited people here for the last 70 years...we want to speak about achievable issues and don't want to sell dreams," he added.
Taking a dig at the former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, he asked what the problem in meeting the Prime Minister is. "Should we go to Prime Minister of England or Africa? Our pain will be healed in New Delhi," he said.
"It's time to stand up against issues that are troubling us, including unemployment which is making our highly-educated youth sit at home," he was quoted as saying at the rally.
Speaking at the function, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) Mayor Junaid Mattoo, who has recently joined the Apni Party, also ridiculed the Alliance leaders. "If there is any B Team in Kashmir, it is sitting in Gupkar. They have batted and bowled enough as a B Team...Power in Kashmir would leave one gate (on Gupkar) and enter another gate there," he said.
He said traditional parties intentionally kept Srinagar underdeveloped and didn't want 80 per cent of residents to vote so that these parties could keep exploiting the city.