Jugal Kishore Sharma, state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party who clinched the prestigious Jammu parliamentary seat by a thumping margin of 2,57,280 votes, attributed his success to Modi wave, the party's holistic support in reaching out to people in state and his own connect with the electorate.
He talked to Hindustan Times about his new role as an MP. Following are the excerpts:
Q: How do you assess your win in the Jammu constituency?
Jugal: This is the victory of our prime ministerial candidate whose vision of a new and corruption-free India took the country by a storm. Be it J&K or any other state of India, everyone was full of anger against the Congress. The people of Jammu also rose against them.
Q: What immediate challenges do you foresee as an MP?
Jugal: The Jammu belt is the most diverse segment in the region in many respects. People's aspirations are growing and they have been looking forward for a change in leadership from the area. My foremost challenge is to list their demands and needs and see they are fulfilled. Also, it is a difficult terrain and it will be my priority to reach out to the masses.
Q: People of Jammu have been alleging discrimination for long. How will you attend to this challenge?
Jugal: With the new dispensation at the Centre, issues such as discrimination will be taken care of. It is but a fact that the BJP has been voicing the same quite often. My priority will be to watch the interests of all the four major areas of my constituency - Jammu, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch - and see they are given equal support.
Q: Unemployment, corruption and terrorism are three major problems facing the state. What woill be you course of action?
Jugal: These factors have let down every Congress-ruled state across the country. Since the NC-Congress coalition has been routed here, this gives a good opportunity for the new government at the Centre to take concrete measures in this regard. Modi's vision includes eradication of corruption and unemployment. Terrorism is a worrying thing for which new policies will be formulated to plug it.
Q: Will the BJP take up the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in future?
Jugal: Modi in his last public rally in Jammu widely made clear the status of Article 370 in the state. His view of discussion on Article 370 was widely appreciated by one and all. Article 370 is very much on the BJP's agenda and would get due attention whenever required. The state unit of the party has already apprised the BJP high command in this connection.