Srinagar, Feb 2: While the Bharatiya Janata Party in Jammu and Kashmir is upbeat about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state tomorrow, others including mainstream parties and the separatists do not expect much from the visit.
Ravinder Raina, state BJP president has said the visit of party’s star campaigner will definitely help the party do better in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. “Not only will it help us do better in the Lok Sabha elections, but also in the assembly polls,” he said.
Former chief minister and vice president of regional National Conference Omar Abdullah has expressed hope that Modi will announce the opening of Kargil-Skardu road across the Line of Control during his visit to the state.
Omar has supported the demand raised by people of Kargil in the Ladakh region who held a rally yesterday demanding opening of the route.
Former chief minister and president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti has not even commented on Modi’s visit while her party’s senior leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar said, “Foundation stones laid in the past have remained stones only.”
“Projects such as the Zojilla Tunnel and Z-Morh Tunnel have almost been abandoned and these are being re-tendered now. The ambitious ring-road project is abandoned because land could not be acquired, the Jammu-Srinagar Highway is mostly closed this winter,” said Akhtar.
“On the political front, it is unfortunate that the Prime Minister will be addressing sarpanchs and panchs who got elected barely with 10 per cent votes,” said Akhtar.
Ghulam Hassan Mir, president of Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) and former minister said, “It is a totally politically motivated visit happening when Lok Sabha elections are around. We do not have any hopes from this visit”.
Other mainstream political parties such as the National Panthers Party and the Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) headed by Hakim Muhammad Yasin have also called Modi’s visit a “politically motivated trip aimed only at the Lok Sabha elections”.
Kashmiri separatist leadership has reacted traditionally to Modi’s visit by calling a protest shutdown tomorrow.
Authorities have placed senior separatist leader, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, under house arrest ahead of Modi’s visit.