Srinagar: The Bhartiya Janata Party has decided to contest Lok Sabha polls from all three seats in Kashmir. BJP general secretary (Organisation), Ashok Kaul told “We are announcing the names of candidates in coming days.”
“We have made advances in Kashmir by winning 100 wards (in municipal polls),” he said, adding that BJP also recorded victory in Panchayat elections. “We are hopeful of achieving target in Parliamentary and Assembly elections.”
The senior BJP leader said, “Now, for the masses BJP is no different than other parties – PDP, National Conference and Congress. What will matter now is the work that we put in for our party and for the public.”
Pertinently, the Congress was ahead of the BJP in the municipal polls in the valley by bagging 157 wards, while the saffron party won in 100 wards. The boycott call by separatists, coupled with threats by militants, and non-participation of the National Conference and the PDP, helped both the BJP and the Congress in a major way as 76 and 78 candidates from the parties, respectively, were elected without any contest.
Kaul said that BJP has also become the single largest party in the J&K Legislative Council. The party has now 11 lawmakers in the 33-member Council, followed by its former ally PDP with 10 members while the opposition National Conference and Congress have six legislators each.
Since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016, no political party has been able to hold a public rally in southern Kashmir.
Elected legislators rarely visit their constituencies, and when they do, it’s under heavy security as their cavalcades are often pelted with stones by angry protestors.
“BJP got thumping majority in Jammu and the graph of the party is increasing in Kashmir where we were not getting a worker to lift the party flag sometime back,” he said.
Asked whether the chief minister will be from Jammu or Kashmir in case the BJP achieves its target, Raina said he will be from the BJP and “the one people would like to have.”