Thursday, July 25, 2024

Kashmir News: BJP will contest on all 90 assembly seats of J&K, says Amit Shah in Srinagar

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would contest on all 90  seats of Jammu and Kashmir in the upcoming assembly elections in the Union Territory. Shah, who is on a two-day visit to Srinagar, has urged the saffron party workers to gear up for the contest scheduled later this year.

Shah interacted with state BJP unit delegation at the Lalit Palace hotel in Srinagar on May 16, the first day of his visit. During the interaction, Shah expressed regret about the BJP not contesting the Lok Sabha elections on the three crucial Lok Sabha seats of Kashmir – Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anatnag-Rajouri, according to local newspapers. 

Also Read: Amit Shah bets on Nitish Kumar’s Lok Sabha poll pitch, vows Sita temple in Bihar: ‘Only PM Narendra Modi can…’

The Home Minister is also learnt to have stressed the rank and file of the BJP to ensure dynasty rule of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC), J&K Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – the two mainstream regional parties—and the Congress was wiped out from the UT.

Shah’s visit comes days after Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency recorded a high voter percentage of 38.49 per cent, highest since 1996.

No elected government since 2018

The last assembly elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir in November-December 2014. The election to the 87-member house saw the PDP winning 28 seats, the BJP bagging 25 seats and the NC getting 15 seats. 

The PDP and BJP formed the government with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed becoming the chief minister. Sayeed passed away in January 2016. His daughter Mehbooba Mufti was sworn in as the next CM, after  a brief period of Governor’s rule.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024: What does Srinagar’s record voter turnout tell us about J&K’s Article 370 scrapping?

In June 2018, the BJP, however, withdrew its support to the PDP-led government and Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. In August 2019, Article 370 was abrogated and the erstwhile state was divided into two UTs- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

In December last year, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to conduct the Assembly polls in the UT by September 2024.

Visit questioned

The regional political parties have questioned Shah’s visit to the valley in the middle of Lok Sabha Elections and at a time when BJP is not contesting on any of the three seats in Kashmir Valley. Srinagar voted on May 13. Baramulla seat is voting on May 20 and Anantnag-Rajouri on May 25. 

Also Read: Phase 4 voting today: In first Lok Sabha election post Article 370 scrapping, BJP not in the fray in 3 Kashmir seats

“Doesn’t it look strange that the Home minister is leaving his election campaign and coming for two days to a place where they are not contesting elections,” NC chief and Baramulla candidate Omar Abdullah said on Thursday.

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Published: 17 May 2024, 08:08 AM IST

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