BJP leaders believe that the standoff in Jammu and Kashmir with the Omar Abdullah government has enabled the party to gain politically, at the expense of the Congress.
The argument is this: while Omar Abdullah — who was being seen as a failed chief minister during last year's summer of unrest — deliberately upped the ante to gain political points by cutting into the separatist constituency with the claim that he stopped the BJP.
But the party, according to BJP leaders, came out as a symbolic political gainer throughout India outside the Valley — where it anyway has no stake — for upholding the national flag.
"Kashmir is one issue where even if we are alone, the acceptability of our stand will be much more than all others, as the Nehruvian stand has been historically proved incorrect," said a senior BJP leader.
The leader added that outside the Valley, where both Congress and BJP had a common nationalist political constituency, the Congress would lose popular sympathy on this issue.
Asked whether the reservations voiced by ally JD(U) were not harmful, he said the socialists since the Lohia days were soft on Sheikh Abdullah's politics and thus the stand taken by Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav was only predictable.
Another leader said there were two additional advantages for the party: "Any debate on our core ideological agenda is good for us, and the happenings energised our leaders and cadres...which is good for us organisationally".