BJP national president meets Jammu leaders, spurs poll preparations
HT NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, March 7: BJP national president J.P. Nadda’s arrival in Jammu on Monday fuelled speculations that the party was gathering inputs from local leaders to chalk out its poll strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections in the Union Territory (UT).
Nadda is visiting J&K aftermost two years. Ahead of his arrival in Jammu, BJP’s Kashmir in-charge Tarun Chugh has been camping in the UT and meeting local leaders. “An atmosphere of positive change in J&K is clearly visible,” said the leader. He visited the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra.
Nadda and Union Minister Jitendra Singh will be collecting “feedback from the local leaders”. He will also chair a meeting of the BJP’s core group in Jammu. Sources said the BJP was planning to counter the narrative of the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of around five parties fighting for the restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 position in J&K.
The Gupkar alliance recently released a white paper in Srinagar. It listed “the failures of the Centre on many fronts, including employment and development, in J&K” since the Centre ended the erstwhile State’s special constitutional position.
The BJP is banking on the hilly regions of the Pir Panjal and the Chenab valley to win the elections in J&K. Several measures, including the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and granting domicile status to West Pakistan refugees, have been undertaken by the Lieutenant Governor’s administration.
Meanwhile, the BJP has marked the Gupkar alliance as its main opposition in J&K.
Chugh, also BJP’s national general secretary, who arrived in J&K on Saturday, targeted the conglomerate headed by National Conference president Farooq Abdullah.
Chugh described the Gupkar alliance as “ a group of retired and tired people with a perverted mindset, who spent their reign to destroy Kashmir and spoil its peaceful atmosphere”. “They [the parties associated with the Gupkar alliance] gave stones, AK-47 and grenades to Kashmiri youth. We gave them education and jobs. Today, youth are becoming doctors, engineers and IAS officers; then they used to become ‘mujahideen’,” he said, in an interview with a local news agency.