BJP Bid to Make Inroads into Jammu and Kashmir's Political Citadel
By Fayaz Wani | ENS | Published: 05th February 2014 06:00 AM |
With an eye on the future the main Opposition BJP is trying to make inroads in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the sensitive pockets here that had witnessed widespread stone pelting of the security forces, and in North Kashmir, which even the leaders of the state’s mainstream parties shy away from visiting.
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha(BJYM), which is the BJP’s youth wing, has held interactions with people, especially the youth (some of them involved in the stone throwing incidents) in Nowhatta, Eidgah and Haba Kadal areas here as well as Sopore, Baramulla, Pattan and Handwara in North Kashmir.
“We have had interactions with the Kashmiri youth, including the stone pelters, who have voiced some grievances. Cases have been registered against some youth by police for indulging in stone pelting. No mainstream party or leader has come forward to help them come out of the mental trauma. I interacted with them and assured them that the BJP won’t allow any injustice to be meted out to them,” said BJYM J&K chief Ravinder Raina.
According to the BJYM leader he had assured the youth that the BJP would take up the matter and make sure that the ‘stone pelting’ tag on them is removed.
Raina, hailing from downtown Rainawari area, said the disgruntled youth are reposing their trust in the BJP because no other mainstream party has approached them and expressed the keenness to work with them. I also interacted with the youth in Kashmir University, Degree College Baramulla and such other places. I have also visited Uri, Bandipora, Sonawari, Gurez, Lolab, Langate and Karnah areas in North Kashmir and interacted with people. There has been a positive response from people,” he said.
Raina said during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as PM, talks were held with the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and a short ceasefire was declared. “The People in J&K have high regard for Vajpayee and we are hopeful that if the BJP returns to power, some Kashmir-specific Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) would be taken by our government for the welfare and benefit of people of Kashmir,” the state BJYM chief said. On whether his interactions with the youth were an open affair, Raina said, “They were held openly and there was nothing secretive about the process.” Sources,though, said meetings were held behind closed doors to avoid untoward incidents. “Holding talks with BJP would cause trouble and hence interactions in downtown, Baramulla town and Sopore were held secretly,” they said.