Campaigning openly in Kashmir not possible: Raina
‘Our prime focus is Jammu’
Although, the BJP has been hoping to open its account in Kashmir Valley in the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections in view of the boycott call given by two mainstream political parties NC and PDP, but at the same time the senior leaders of the BJP state unit believe that campaigning for elections in the valley is “security risk”.
“In the present security scenario, it is not possible to hold rallies or public meetings in Kashmir valley to woo voters for participation in ULB elections,” BJP state president Ravinder Raina and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta told Greater Kashmir.
Barring a couple of its leaders like state general secretary (organization) Ashok Kaul and state general secretary Dr Narinder Singh, no senior leader of the BJP including MLAs, MPs or former ministers bothered to visit Kashmir Valley to campaign for the party candidates.
Even Ashok Kaul and Dr Narinder Singh, who visited the valley a few times, did not campaign for the party candidates, but instead held indoor meetings with the party workers.
On the contrary, in Jammu, the party involved all its MLAs, MPs, former ministers and other senior leaders in the campaigning.
They were given different assignments by the party in different wards of Jammu right from the booth level upto door to door campaigning.
“Our prime focus is Jammu and we are utilizing services of all our leaders here so that our candidates win in maximum wards,” former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said, adding, “Due to security reasons, it is not possible to campaign in Kashmir, hold meetings or even small rallies”.
He however, said some party leaders did visit Kashmir Valley.
“As the situation doesn’t allow, they held indoor meetings with party workers and leaders in Kashmir and discussed strategy for ULB polls,” Kavinder said.
BJP state president Ravinder Raina also said that the situation in Kashmir is not conducive for campaigning for ULB polls.
“First of all, finding candidates for the party in valley was difficult. We somehow did that, but campaigning openly in the valley is not possible at all,” Raina said.