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BJP hinting at a merger with JSM

BJP in J&K hints to merge Jammu State Morcha (JSM) and other like-minded organisations into it, reports Deepak Khajuria.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 17:49 IST

Keeping an eye on the next assembly elections, Bharatiya Janta Party in Jammu and Kashmir with an intention to merge Jammu State Morcha (JSM) and other like-minded organisations into it, returned to its old agenda and demanded reorganisation of the state.

In a political resolution passed at the end of the two-day long state executive body meeting held in the winter capital on January 6 and 7, BJP leaders unanimously decided to raise the demand.

The demand, which was raised by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang (RSS) in July 2002 during last assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and sidelined by BJP resulted in differences between JSM and BJP and turned into a setback for BJP in Jammu region where it only managed to get a single assembly seat.

When RSS raised the demand for reorganisation followed by Vishav Hindu Parishad (VHP), BJP's senior leader and then Deputy Prime Minister, LK Advani rejected the demand.

Sources said that the figure of 25 seats in the next assembly elections is not possible without the help of like-minded parties and BJP now has geared up its leaders with an agenda of reorganisation.

BJP state president Ashok Khajuria under whose leadership party reiterated its demand said, "BJP's intention is not to merge any other organisation but we just want to raise public's voice."

"According to our political resolution, the state unit is constrained to say that the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions are forced to demand reorganisation of the state in such a way that these pernicious and divisive formulations being parroted by Congress-PDP-NC and even Pakistani President Parvez Musharaff combine does not apply to these regions," he added.

The BJP also reiterated its demand of abolition of Article 370 and resolved to fight for the same taking the votaries of autonomy, self-rule, demilitarisation, joint management, joint control and economic independence.

Meanwhile, RSS Pracharak J&K, Rakesh Kumar told Hindustan Times, "We welcome the BJP's decision to follow the agenda proposed by us five years back."

He further said that they are not political leaders so they can't comment on the political profit or loss to the BJP after adopting the agenda of reorganisation of state back to their bag but this is the only option to stop the discrimination with the people of Jammu and

Ladakh regions.

JSM vice-chairman, Ramesh Sabharwal, when contacted said, "It is too early to talk about merger or collaboration of JSM with BJP." "Demand of separate statehood is so popular with the people in Jammu region that this has compelled BJP to adopt the demand," Sabharwal said and added in reply to another question, "It is also true that in view of next assembly elections BJP has adopted the agenda of reorganisation because they have no other agenda with which they would go to public."

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First Published: Jan 08, 2007 17:49 IST