J-K: BJP open to post-poll tie-ups

  • Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2014 12:05 IST

Buoyed by its victories in Maharashtra and Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party has shifted its focus to the coming assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir where it has identified some small parties and individuals for a possible post-poll tie-up.

“We are open to post-poll alliances with any nationalist forces and individuals. We are in touch with some of them. Nobody is untouchable for us,” the party’s J-K spokesperson Khalid Jehangir told HT.

However, he refused to reveal the names of the political parties and individuals.

For the coming elections, several new outfits have emerged on the political scene in J-K.

The entry of parties such as advocate Syed Reyaz Khawar’s Jammu Kashmir Awami Tehreek, Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek-I-Haq, Awami Ittehad Front, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples United Front, Peoples Republican Party, Liberal Democratic Party and Kashmir Development Front into the electoral battlefield has made the contest interesting.

In fact, some of them could play spoiler for the big players in view of the poll boycott call given by separatists.

BJP sources said the party had also sent feelers to separatist-turned-politician Sajjad Lone, whose Peoples Conference has some pockets of influence in north Kashmir.

While several phone calls and messages to Lone went unanswered, sources close to him suggest that he could consider a post-poll alliance with the BJP.

To achieve its Mission 44 plus, the BJP is already working on some Valley seats where Kashmiri Pandits are in substantial numbers and could turn the tide in its favour. The party is confident that the Modi wave will see pay it rich electoral dividends in the Jammu region which has 37 out of the total 87 seats. There are 46 constituencies in the Kashmir valley while the Ladakh region accounts for four seats.

A few small parties, including J-K Gujjar Mahasabha, have already extended their unconditional support to the BJP.

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