BJP Pushes Article 370 To The Back Burner
NEW DELHI: Anticipating criticism in the Kashmir valley, the BJP is changing its election campaign discourse in Jammu and Kashmir by shifting its focus from the abrogation of Article 370 to issues concerning development and corruption.
According to analysts, the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not talk of Article 370 during his recent visit to Jammu division and focused instead, on development and family Raaj in Kashmir -- is an indication that the BJP is skipping the issue and redirecting its campaign’s focus.
"BJP now understood that Article 370 is going them hit them hard in Kashmir Valley and is turning as barrier for their future, so they are diluting it" said Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, who teaches in Kashmir's Central University.
The inner party rift over the issue is another reason for the BJP to put Article 370 on the back burner as it has created problems for party candidates campaigning in the valley.
"Many BJP candidates in valley too have opposed the excessive debates over Article 370 as they are feeling the heat on ground, so BJP have to push the issue to back burner" Hussain added.
Meanwhile, the BJP spokesperson In Kashmir ruled out the strategy change and said that people of kashmir themselves will decide on the verdict.
"The verdict is with people of kashmir and as always i stood by our earlier statement, the BJP is going to debate Article 370 and let people to decide on it" said Khalid Jehangir, BJP spokesperson in Kashmir.
He added that there is no rift in party over the issue and maintained that the people of Kashmir will help the BJP to achieve the party’s mission.
"We are here to end the two family rule, who have ruined kashmir and Push kashmir to new horizons" the spokesperson added.
However, sources told The Citizen that BJP leaders have realized that the party will not be able to form the government on its own in the state. To come into power it has to join hands with Kashmir-based parties, who cannot afford to talk about abrogation of Article 370 from the state.
The sources also added that it was the part of BJP strategy to secure Jammu first and then soften the stand on Article 370 to lure Kashmiri voters.