BJP’s Strategy for J & K Polls: More Muslim Candidates
BJP is looking at all ways to wrest its power in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is heading for the Assembly polls very soon. Its new strategy is to field more Muslim candidates in the Valley in order to woo voters. BJP has been trying to shrug off the communal tag on it and has now fielded as many as 40% of Muslim candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls.
BJP’s ambitious plan for Kashmir is “Mission 44 plus”. The party is contesting in 70 seats out of the 87 available Assembly seats. About 32 candidates out of the contesting 70 seats are Muslim candidates. 25 Muslim candidates out of the 32 are from Kashmir Valley and six candidates are from the community in Jammu region and one Muslim candidate is from Ladakh region. Apart from these, the BJP has also fielded 4 Kasmiri Pandits as candidates as well as a Sikh leader in Kashmir Valley constituencies. It has also roped in three Buddhist candidates from the Ladakh region and looks quite solid with its strategic moves as far as candidates are concerned.
MP Avinash Rai Khanna, who is in-charge of the BJP in J & K, told reporters that “BJP is not an untouchable in Kashmir Valley. People in the Valley come out in huge numbers in our rallies, road shows and programmes as they look towards BJP as an alternative to NC and PDP, which are ruled by Kashmir’s two important dynasties.” BJP is looking to improve the success that it has gained in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections in the forthcoming Assembly polls in the valley. It had won three out of the six seats in the Parliamentary elections in J & K.
The BJP’s main focus is on peace and development in the Valley and to reach out to the Muslims in the Valley. It is not interested in demanding for the abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir State. The Article 370 has been put on the back burner by the BJP for the time being.
BJP has said that the party will be only doing what the people in the State wants to do. BJP is going ahead in this poll with the ideology of freeing the people of Kashmir from “ruling families” of Kashmir. It is looking to remove corruption from Jammu and Kashmir and to provide good governance to the people of the Valley.