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news details
BJP's poll prospects in J&K
Alienated Jammu, Ladakh
12/14/2018 12:05:23 AM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Dec 13: J&K chief, Ravinder Raina, has claimed that the BJP is fully prepared for the coming assembly elections in the state. He has also claimed that it would win more seats this time as compared to 2014 and the next CM of the state would be from the BJP. "With the active participation of Morchas and the dedication shown by party activists, who have geared up for the coming assembly elections, there are 100 per cent chances that the next CM of J&K will be from the BJP," Raina has said, adding the poll prospects of the BJP were very bright as not only the people of Jammu and Ladakh, but the people of Kashmir were also impressed by the performance and policies of PM Narinder Modi.
To be more exact, he has given to understand that this time the BJP could win the required number of seats (44) in the 87-member assembly. In 2014 as well, the BJP's target was 44, but it could win only 25 and that too from Jammu province, which elects 37 members to the assembly. Both Ladakh and Kashmir had rejected the BJP outright. It had not won even one seat out of 46 in Kashmir and 4 in Ladakh. Raina is president of the state unit of the BJP. He has to say what he said to keep the morale of the otherwise "broken-hearted" BJP cadres, followers and supporters. However, the ground situation in the state is altogether different. In Ladakh, its core constituency (Buddhists) has almost deserted the BJP and turned more radical in the sense that it has for the first time demanded "trifurcation of the state" saying three-way split of J&K alone could be the lasting solution to the issues afflicting Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Sources with the BJP also reveal that "the efforts of the party high command to persuade top BJP leader from Ladakh Thupstan Chhewwang to withdraw his letter of resignation from the PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and Lok Sabha have failed to produce the desired result". Thupstan has turned against BJP national general secretary and in-charge J&K Ram Madhav and J&K BJP chief Raina and held them responsible for the collapse of the BJP in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh.
In Kashmir, the BJP has little or no chance. The constituency in Kashmir is such. Kashmir will replicate 2014 in 2019 as well, in case elections were actually held in the militant-infested Kashmir. In 2014, all but one BJP candidates had forfeited their security deposits and this despite the fact that PM Modi himself had addressed one election rally in Kashmir and the party had spend 100s of crores of rupees in Kashmir hoping that it would open its account in the Valley.
As for Jammu, which was considered the strong support-base of the BJP, things have changed and changed drastically. The people have last faith in the party as it failed to deliver on any front. What has annoyed its core constituency was its truck with the pro-self-rule PDP and hobnobbing with another separatist-turned-mainstream Kashmiri Sajad Lone. The BJP upset its own applecart on November 21 (the day the assembly was dissolved), when it extended unflinching support to Sajad Lone with a 2-MLA party. Lone wrote a letter to the state Governor and asked him to invite to form the government in the state as he had the required number with him. He claimed in his letter that all the 25 MLAs from BJP and 19 other MLAs were with him. This claim of Lone has punctured the BJP's balloon and widened the gulf between the BJP and its erstwhile supporters.
No wonder the people are ridiculing the claim of the BJP that the next CM of the state will be from the BJP. They are raising some valid questions and some of the questions are: "Did it not promise Hindu CM in 2014? What it did after winning 25 seats from Jammu? Did it not barter Jammu and hand over the Jammu mandate to the Muftis, known more for their hostile attitude towards Jammu and Ladakh? Did it not compromise its age-old ideology for the sake of a few berths in the Kashmir-controlled, dominated and guided Cabinet". "No, the BJP has fallen from the grace and no one could trust it anymore," say its critics, adding that "even intense campaign by PM Narendra Modi in Jammu will not help the BJP in any way" and that "the recent results in the just held-ULB and panchayat elections have established that the people have little interest in the BJP" . It would be interesting to see what the local BJP leaders finally do win over the estranged people of both Jammu and Ladakh.
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