SRINAGAR: The fifth and final phase of Assembly elections for 20 seats in Jammu province are very important for saffron party BJP’s arithmetic.
Twenty seats spread over three districts of Jammu province – Rajouri, Kathua and Jammu – will go to polls in the final phase of elections for 87-member State Assembly on December 20.
According to poll observers, performance of saffron party in the fifth phase would indicate whether BJP would be forming the government in the State or will again have to play role of the opposition.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed political rallies in the region, the party hopes Modi’s charisma not only will help it to sail through in the last phase but will put the party in a strong position to form the next government.
The Prime Minister visited Jammu on Tuesday and addressed election rallies in favour of party candidates. Large number of people attended Modi’s rally increasing morale of the BJP state leaders.
In the first four poll phases, BJP may not have secured many seats as the influence of the party in the Muslim-dominated Valley is not much. The party is new in Kashmir region and has no strong base here. However, the party is making inroads in the valley.
So far elections have been held for the 67 seats including all 46 seats from the Valley and 4 from Leh and Ladakh region.
For assuming power in the 87-seat State Assembly, BJP is working on Mission 44+ and opened up for new entrants.
“For its mission 44+ in J&K, it is must for the BJP to win most of the seats from the Jammu region,” political observers said.
They said if BJP fail to do well in the final phase, then party’s chances of forming the next government will decline considerably.
Jammu region has 37 Assembly seats.
In Jammu and Kashmir, BJP tried to rope in a number of Muslims faces like Farooq Khan, Hina Bhat, Khalid Jehangir, Neelam Gash, and Darakshan Andrabi.
Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley during his visit to the State had appealed people to give BJP five lotuses from the Valley.
“BJP’s permutations and combinations will change drastically if they are able to make maximum out of the fifth phase of polls,” said Adil Masood Wani, a Ph.D. scholar.
In the parliamentary polls held earlier this year, BJP won both seats (Jammu-Poonch and Udhampur-Doda) from State’s Jammu region.
However, all the three seats in Kashmir region had gone to Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
BJP now has all eyes on the fifth phase of polls as the party has been raising the issue of “discrimination” against the Jammu region.
Of the 20 seats going to polls, BJP represented 11 in the outgoing Assembly.
“We are not only sure of retaining 11 seats but also hopeful of winning some more seats. We are hopeful of winning at least 15-18 seats out of the 20 seats going to polls on Saturday,” said a senior State BJP leader.