BJP sets target for booth-level drive in J-K
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans to recruit 25-50 supporters for each polling booth in the Valley to improve its tally in the upcoming assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir that are likely to be held in October and November this year. It did not win any seats in the Kashmir region in the 2014 assembly polls.
According to party functionaries, the BJP is focussing on 12 of Kashmir Valley’s 46 seats. The BJP is yet to decide how many candidates it will put up in Kashmir even as it will contest all 37 seats in Jammu and four in Ladakh.
The BJP formed an alliance government with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which won 28 seats, after the 2014 assembly polls. It pulled out of the coalition in June 2018.
BJP leaders in Delhi say they will not need any alliance partners to form a government in the state. A few functionaries at the state level did not rule out the possibility of a tie-up with regional entities like independents.
A state leader said the BJP’s crackdown on the separatists, focus on exposing corruption and improving the overall administration has helped change the perception among the Valley’s ordinary people.
The party has instructed its cadres to focus on strengthening its presence on the ground. On Tuesday, the BJP leadership is expected to meet the core group of its state unit to discuss their preparedness for the polls.
Union minister Jitendra Singh, general secretary Ram Madhav, BJP’s state unit president, Ravinder Raina, general secretary (organisation) B L Santosh are among those who will attend the meeting.
“In 2014, the party had a slogan ‘one booth 10 youth’, which was coined to ensure 100% voter turnout. This time, we are looking at recruiting between 25-50 people for each booth through our ongoing membership drive. This will help us improve our performance and our tally,” said a BJP state functionary on condition of anonymity.
The numbers from the membership drive are yet to be collated. But BJP functionary said they are expecting the numbers to cross the existing record of three lakh. “There was no verification done last time. So, it is possible that the membership numbers were less than three lakh. But this time going by the response, we are sure to cross that number. We have already signed up 9,000 members of the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community, which is more than 8,000 the last time,” the functionary said.