With the assembly elections due this year, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party on Sunday demanded the trifurcation of the state "to end discrimination in the Jammu and Ladakh region". Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh, who was in Ludhiana on Sunday, told Hindustan Times that the only solution to the problem of discrimination was a trifurcation with Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh becoming separate states.
The party had earlier supported the setting up of regional councils in the three regions, but it is now demanding a complete trifurcation of the state with an eye on the upcoming polls.
Singh maintained that the discrimination in the Jammu and Ladakh regions would end only if Article 370 was abrogated or at least amended. "Before elections, there was a statement by the BJP that Article 370 would be abrogated. But now they haven't discussed the issue," he said.
Singh stated that there was no possibility of an alliance with the BJP, as the latter's promises, made during the Lok Sabha election campaigns this year, were intended to polarise the state and garner the votes of the Hindu community.
"In my entire life, I have not seen such a polarisation in the state, which was clearly visible during this election. The BJP had created such an atmosphere of hope for the Hindu-dominated Jammu region that they were able to win both the seats in Jammu, he said. He stated that the BJP had always claimed to be a pro-Jammu party but had failed to take steps for the betterment of the region.
Singh, who was in Ludhiana to undertake efforts to strengthen the party's presence in Punjab, said, after terrorism, substance abuse was the most important issue affecting the people of the state. "Our candidates would fight the next assembly elections in Punjab and try to root out drug menace in the state. If the Aam Aadmi Party, that had no vote base in the state, could win four seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections, then our age-old party can win many," he claimed.