BJP Supports New One Leader Parties in Kashmir
The BJP in Kashmir
NEW DELHI: The 2014 Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections witnessing a major voter turn out this time, has been complicated by the emergence of new political parties in the fray. These one leader parties can divide the votes and upset the results from specific constituencies.
Kashmiri voters are aware that the new political parties, particularly in the Valley, have a short life span. And the perception is that these are in existence because of funding from ‘sources’.
Kashmiri political leaders claim that most of these new parties are being supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party to split the vote for the established parties.
Political sources said that initial lobbying by BJP leaders with smaller parties like the Awami Itihad Party, the Democratic National Front and others failed to seal a pre-poll alliance but all have kept their post-poll options open. The BJP leaders, the sources said, approached individual political aspirants in the Kashmir Valley and encouraged and supported them to form new political outfits. “Not only new Political parties, many independent candidates are being provided the requisite help to divide voter base,” the sources said.
BJP entered the Kashmir elections on the back of what its leaders described as the “Modi Wave”. Despite promises to develop the state, the party has found support only from one recognised party, namely Sajad Lone’s Peoples Conference. The BJP is supporting him in his North Kashmir Handwara constituency. His supporters are raising slogans suggesting that he will be the next chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sajad Lone, ex separatist turned mainstream politician has also not openly supported the BJP. But nor has he denied reports stating the same.
“I am willing to be the CM of state, with BJP support, there is nothing wrong in that “ Sajad had said.
Meanwhile the turn out in the second phase of the elections has also been high. The ruling National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have both maintained that the people in Kashmir are determined to keep the BJP out of the state.
“Kashmiris have never accepted the communal politics and their larger participation in the poll process is a warning to the BJP that they can’t be here for long” said social activist Hameeda Nayeem.