Tuesday, June 25, 2024

BJP will contest on all assembly seats of J&K: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party would contest on all assembly seats of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed regret for not contesting on three crucial Kashmir Lok Sabha seats.

Interacting with the BJP J&K unit delegation at The Lalit Palace in Srinagar, he urged them to gear up to contest on all seats in the Assembly elections likely to be held later this year.

A source privy to the meeting said that Shah told the delegation that he had worked hard to strengthen the BJP at the grassroots level in every nook and corner of the country.

He said that the Home Minister expressed regret about the BJP not contesting the Lok Sabha elections on the three crucial Lok Sabha seats of Kashmir – Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anatnang-Rajouri.

The source said that Shah said some battles were not fought to defeat the enemy but to check, strengthen, and reinforce the cadre.

He said that the Home Minister stressed the rank and file of the BJP to ensure dynasty rule of the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Congress was wiped out.

“To ensure that you all should vote against these parties in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls for Baramulla constituency and Anantnag-Rajouri seat on May 20 and May 25,” the source quoted Shah as telling the BJP delegation.

He said that Shah passed directions to the BJP cadre to ensure that the vote of every single BJP worker, activist and leader goes against NC, PDP, and Congress.

The source said that the BJP delegation included the party’s J&K unit General Secretary and J&K affairs incharge Sunil Sharma and other leaders including Darakshan Andrabi, Hina Bhat, Sofi Yousuf, Altaf Thakur, G M Mir, Ali Muhammad and Bilal Parray while BJP’s national General Secretary Tarun Chug was also present in the meeting.

Shah’s assurance regarding the party’s participation in the Assembly polls indicates a shift in strategy, signalling the BJP’s intent to expand its footprint in Kashmir.

During the meeting with the BJP’s local leadership, Shah also reiterated his confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership stating that Modi would return as PM for the third consecutive term.

A senior BJP leader, who was part of a BJP delegation that met the Union Home Minister Thursday evening, said Shah called for a united front to uphold democratic principles.

Shah’s call for supporting like-minded parties in the Lok Sabha elections reflects a tactical approach to consolidate anti-dynastic forces and present a united front against the established political order.

On Thursday, the Home Minister embarked on a two-day visit to Kashmir where he engaged with various delegations and is scheduled to review preparations for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra on Friday.

Arriving at the Srinagar International Airport, he was welcomed by senior BJP leaders, including Tarun Chug, Ravinder Raina, Sunil Sharma, and Darakshan Andrabi, before proceeding to The Lalit Palace.

Shah’s visit to Kashmir has garnered significant attention, coinciding with Jamaat-e-Islami’s statement in which it expressed its willingness to join the electoral politics again after 1987 subject to the condition that the Centre revokes the ban imposed on it in 2019 under the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA).

Shah’s visit, aimed at reviewing preparations for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra and engaging with various delegations, comes at a crucial juncture in Kashmir’s political landscape.

The Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency recorded a high voter percentage of 38.49 percent, marking the second-highest turnout since 1989.

This surge in participation is seen as a positive sign of increasing political engagement and reflects a growing sense of democratic participation among the electorate.

Shah’s visit also holds political significance, particularly in light of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections nationwide.

The outcome of the Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir, coupled with Amit Shah’s visit and the high voter turnout in Srinagar, is expected to have far-reaching implications for Kashmir’s political future.

Soon after arriving at Lalit, a Pahari delegation led by Raja Ajaz Ali thanked the Home Minister for granting them their long-sought rights.

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