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BJP begins preparations for J&K elections

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 31, 2019 Published on July 31, 2019

Almost synchronising with the Union Cabinet decision to extend 10 per cent reservation to the poor in educational institutions and government jobs to Jammu and Kashmir, the ruling BJP on Wednesday announced widespread preparations for Assembly elections in the border State.

The BJP appointed party Vice-President Avinash Rai Khanna as the leader-in-charge of the Assembly elections and said “zero tolerance” on terrorism will accompany development efforts in the State.

Late on Tuesday evening, the BJP held a meeting of its core group on Kashmir, which includes the party’s acting president JP. Nadda, Organisation Secretary BL Santosh, General Secretary Ram Madhav, Khanna as well as Union Minister Jitendra Singh.

“The party pledged to extend organisational support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-pronged policy of combining zero tolerance to terrorism with massive development work,” said BJP General Secretary Arun Singh.

After the meeting, party General Secretary Ram Madhav went on tour to Kashmir on Wednesday. According to PTI, Madhav evaded a direct response to questions related to Constitutional provisions giving special status to J&K, especially Article 35A.

“The BJP’s stand on it (repeal of Article 35A of the Constitution) is very clear, but it is not the party which is going to decide (on the matter). The decision will be taken by the Prime Minister and his government, but I can assure you that whatever decision they will take, will be in the interest of the state,” Madhav told reporters in Srinagar.

He said the State’s political parties were creating an atmosphere of fear in Kashmir by linking the movement of Central armed paramilitary forces with other issues to save their political turf.

“Leaders of local regional parties are creating fear psychosis for their political interests. Moving forces in and out of Kashmir as per the requirement of the security grid is an ongoing process. Extra forces are brought in for Amarnath Yatra or elections, like there is going to be block-level elections for panchayat. But linking the movement of forces with other issues is being done for personal interests,” he said.

Article 35A of the Constitution gives powers to J&K to define the State’s permanent residents.

Published on July 31, 2019
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