SRINAGAR: Emboldened by the results in Lok Sabha elections in which they bagged three seats in Jammu and Kashmir, the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shortlisted a few constituencies to target the minority vote bank in pockets where the majority boycotts the polls in Kashmir valley.

This is part of the multi-pronged strategy the party is using to achieve the ‘magical number’ of 44 to create history of coming to power in the state or at least get the maximum seats to play Congress for the next years of rule. BJP president Amit Shah is personally supervising the ambitious plan.

The party is working hard to make inroads in Kashmir by luring educated people into their fold. Besides being confident of getting maximum number of seats in the Jammu region, the BJP will make every effort to open an account in Muslim majority Kashmir.

The strategy is simple. Consolidate the Kashmiri Pandit votes in the constituencies which come under influence of the boycott and nudge out the candidates from parties like National Conference and PDP who are traditionally winning those seats. The shortlisted constituencies include Sopore, Habba Kadal, Amira Kadal, Anantnag, Kokernag and Tral.

South Kashmir’s Tral and North Kashmir’s Sopore town are among the most volatile areas of the valley, which witness a huge boycott. Tral, which has a Sikh minority, was one of the least voted areas in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and in Sopore town only two percent come out to vote. BJP is eyeing the Sikh community in Tral in absence of a turn out. But the moot question is that whether Sikhs would also come to vote and single out as a community.

“Our focus is the 1724 pandit votes in the Sopore town. Even if half of them come to vote, our candidate will win hands down,” said a senior BJP associate.

Similarly Habba Kadal in the old city has around 15980 voters, Amira Kadal voter population is around 4417, Anantnag has 3939, Kokernag 3062 and Tral 1338.

“The KPs are being registered as voters. They have been taken into confidence that they will get a candidate from their community in the assembly so if they vote for these areas, chances for the party become stronger,” he added.

Sources said that under the instructions from party president Amit Shah the party members have been geared to get Kashmiri Pandits registered as voters and to consolidate them. But it is becoming difficult to reach out to them as the KP’s are spread all over the country. Jammu has larger chunk of voters and all parties are concentrating on them.

In Amira Kadal, medico daughter of former MLA Mohammad Shafi Bhat, Hina Bhat has joined the party. “I am hopeful that the party will give me the mandate from this constituency. My father has served its people twice, I am sure I will get their support in abundance,” Hina told Rising Kashmir. Though these are small chunk of voters, the party is looking at boycott as a window.

Besides, the party has also pitched proxy candidates and parties essentially to garner maximum support in the Muslim majority valley where it is infamous for being a ‘communal’ organization.

Peoples Conference, Chairman Sajad Lone is the first one whom the party (BJP) explored ties with. “Our effort would be to get him (Sajad) in the assembly. We will keep him close to party indirectly,” state BJP leader Fayaz Ahmed Bhat told Rising Kashmir. Recently, BJP’s General Secretary J.P. Nadda had a one-on-one meeting with the former separatist leader.

Sources told Rising Kashmir that various new political parties, which have come forward to contest in the LA elections, are pitched by the BJP to get their share of votes.

“Senior bureaucrats and politicians of mainstream parties like the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party and Congress have shown interest to come forward to support us in the state,” said Bhat.

However, BJP insiders said that several “big names” in the valley were “iffy” about joining the party directly “fearing people’s wrath” yet they have given confidence to support (BJP) “indirectly”.

Political grapevine is that with their renewed efforts to get maximum seats out of 87 member house the BJP is trying to complete its larger agenda of diluting the special status of the state. Intense Modi wave in Lok Sabha elections got BJP three out of six seats and that seems to have swept the political forces like Congress.

Jammu again seems heading towards complete polarization on the pattern of 2008 Amarnath land row that pushed the BJP from one seat in 2002 to 11 in 2008. Senior Congress leader and PHE Minister Sham Lal Sharma’s statement on Wednesday that the state should get a Hindu chief minister now is indicative of polarization in the region.

Talking to a Delhi-based news magazine, BJP’s National Executive and the chairman of the Election Campaign Committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections Dr Nirmal Singh said: “…Mission Kashmir is not just a slogan, we are soon going to turn it into reality. Nobody thought BJP will win 272+ seats nationally. We will once again prove everyone wrong. Amit Shah has already shown what he is capable of in UP.”

Shah seems too keen to secure majority in J&K assembly polls. At a recent meeting to welcome Moti Kaul, president of the All India Kashmiri Samaj into the party fold, Shah reportedly told leaders from the state, “I’m not so concerned about the other states where elections are being held. We are winning in those states in any case. I want you to devote all your energy on winning Jammu and Kashmir. Imagine the message that would go around the world, if we succeed in installing a BJP leader as the democratically elected CM of Jammu and Kashmir.”

To reach the ‘magical number’ of 44 may be a dream, but complete consolidation of Hindu vote is surely advantage BJP in the forthcoming state elections.