JAMMU: In a first major political outreach to Centre post scrapping of Article 370, senior mainstream leader and former finance minister Altaf Bukhari would be leading a delegation of politicians and social activists to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital to demand restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and safeguarding of land and jobs of locals.
It would be the first interaction between the Valley-based leaders and central government since August 5.
Bukhari, who is said to be backed by the BJP, is emerging as a strong contender in the Valley to lead the Third Front in absence of National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party post scrapping of Article 370 by the Centre last year.
Sources said Bukhari enjoys good relations with BJP leaders especially the party’s Kashmir in-charge Ram Madhav and MoS PMO Jitendra Singh.
Bukhari, the former PDP leader and an influential businessman, held a meeting which was attended by a few political leaders, academicians, legal luminaries and social activists, a close aide to the leader said.
Bukhari initiated the first political reach-out in Valley post scrapping of Article 370 by meeting Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu last month.
He was leading a group of eight mainstream leaders, most of who belonged to the PDP and few were from the Congress.
A few days later, the same delegation led by him met envoys of 16 countries in Srinagar.
Bukhari said two committees will be framed – one will deliberate on nuances of constitutionality required for formation of any political set-up and the second committee would reach out to intellectuals, academicians, social activists, chamber of commerce, tradesmen and other representatives of the society to explore all possibilities through which Jammu and Kashmir people are taken out from the socio-economic and political quagmire.