SRINAGAR: The J&K unit of BJP on Sunday elected chartered accountant and MLA Sat Sharma as party’s new president in Jammu and Kashmir replacing MP Jugal Kishore.
The election for party president was held at BJP headquarters in Jammu today. All legislators, parliament members and executive council members of the party unanimously elected Sat Sharma, MLA from Jammu West Assembly constituency, as party’s new president of the State. Sat Sharma is a chartered accountant by profession.
He replaces Jugal Kishore Sharma, sitting MP from Jammu-Poonch Lok seat. Jugal headed the party for three years from 2012.
Sources said though there were many contenders for the post including Dr Narinder Singh, party general secretary and RSS ideologue; Chander Mohan Sharma, Yudhvir Sethi and Vibodh Gupta but the party leaders unanimously cleared the name of Sat Sharma and elected him unopposed as J&K BJP president.
As per BJP Constitution, election of State president is held after completion of three tier election process on booth, Mandal and district levels.
The election of the state BJP president was earlier scheduled to be held on November 20 but since consensus eluded, the party leadership postponed the elections by a month.
Sat Sharma’s elevation as J&K president comes at a time when the PDP-BJP coalition government is in a tight spot over BJP’s demand to declare October 26, the day when J&K’s erstwhile Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with Union of India in 1947, as “Accession Day” and a “State Holiday”.
The PDD is reluctant to concede the demand of BJP fearing backlash in the Valley, where people are already looking towards the party with suspicion over its alliance with the saffron party after contesting the Assembly election against it.
The PDP-BJP government is likely to hold panchayat and local bodies polls in March-April next year and Sat Sharma will have to lead the party in these elections after saffron party’s victory in the recently held elections to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC).
The BJP had won all its 25 seats from Jammu in the 87-member J&K Assembly elections for which were held in November-December last year.
The panchayat and local bodies polls will be acid test for both PDP and BJP and it remains to be seen how Sharma guides and leads his party during the forthcoming elections to the civic polls.
More expectations will be attached with Sat Sharma after party’s spectacular show in last year’s parliamentary and assembly elections in the State. The party under the leadership of outgoing president Jugal Kishore for the first time won three Lok Sabha seats from the State and 25 Assembly seats. It is also for the first time since 1947 that BJP has become part of government in J&K.