Why should have we discussed Article 35 A, when matter is in court, says top BJP leader
Srinagar, July 30: Amidst uncertainty and speculation over the deployment of additional forces in the Valley and the possibility of abrogation of article 35 A, the Central leadership of the BJP today chaired the crucial meeting of J&K BJP’s core group in Delhi on Tuesday to deliberate on the prevailing situation and the party’s strategy to be adopted if delimitation and Assembly polls take place this year.
Reliable sources told KNO that the meeting didn’t discuss Article 35 A as presumed earlier. A top BJP leader told KNO that the meeting was chaired by BJP working president J P Nadda and was also be attended by general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh.
While confirming the meeting, sources in the state unit said no they discussed prevailing situation in Kashmir, BJP’s membership drive and also the delimitation of Assembly seats. “We didn’t discuss the article 35 A as it was not on our agenda. We discussed possibility of holding early polls and party’s preparedness,” a BJP leader, who was present in the meeting told KNO.
He said that the party leadership asked them to stay ready for the delimitation and the Assembly polls that are to be held along with a few more states in October-November. “We expressed our gratitude to the party leadership for its full support and gave it our assurance that BJP will sweep the polls in all three regions of the State whenever they are held. We also demanded delimitation before the Assembly polls,” said another leader.
Talking to KNO over phone from New Delhi, BJP General Secretary (organization) Ashok Koul said that the meeting was fruitful. “We have been told to get ready for delimitation and assembly polls. There was no mention of article 35 A in the meeting,” he said.
Pertinently, given Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s emphatic assertion in Parliament of the BJP’s views on Article 370, every small change in the state’s security detail leads to frenetic speculation on the Centre’s ‘agenda’. It hasn’t helped that there has been no formal word from the BJP state unit leadership to soothe these apprehensions among the public. Asked why the Article 35 A wasn’t discussed, he said: “Why should have we discussed Article 35A when the matter is pending before the Supreme Court”
Dismissing statements by Opposition political parties that the movement of 100 additional companies of paramilitary forces to Kashmir was linked to the Centre’s plan to abrogate Article 35A and Article 370 (special status to J&K), the BJP leader said, “Kashmiri politicians are trying to stir passions ahead of the Assembly elections. They always raise such fears ahead of every election so as to create an atmosphere against pro-India parties.”
Last month, the Election Commission of India had said that it would take a decision on holding Assembly elections in the state after consulting political parties, and the state and Central governments, and after the Amarnath yatra, which is culminating on August 15.