Binoo Joshi

JK News Today Special Commentary

Home Minister Amit Shah is very loud and clear about Jammu and Kashmir ‘s politics wherein he has seen prospects for BJP in the Assembly elections which as per the Supreme Court directions are to be held by September 30th. This has more meaning than mere BJP’s participation in the Assembly polls, it is all about how the people in the valley have voiced their desire to have BJP in the electoral contest. Home Minister has sensed that.
Amit Shah who arrived in Srinagar on Thursday evening to assess the political and security situation told the party cadre and leaders that they should be prepared for the Assembly polls as the party will contest all the 90 seats in the Union Territory of J&K. This declaration came at a time when Kashmir is in the middle of the Lok Sabha polls. North Kashmir’s Baramulla seat will go to polls on May 20 and Anantnag –Rajouri on May 25. Srinagar seat recorded over 30 per cent of voting- an all-time record in the past nearly 35 years.
BJP is not contesting any of the Three-Valley seats. It has left the field open with its singular plea that the voters should reject the three-dynastic parties –National Conference, Congress and PDP. The argument is based on the fact that these parties have been responsible for what all happened in Jammu and Kashmir for over 35 years, especially following the “rigged” Assembly polls of 1987. The rigging in the polls is traced as a main source of insurgency-cum terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, that over the past over three decades, destroyed lives and the normal ways of living in Kashmir.
Amit Shah has now cleared the air that not contesting the Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir was not a politically correct decision. Though he did not elaborate, the fact of the matter is that BJP that invested so much in the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, brought a new era of normalcy. This resulted in boosting confidence among the people, which they discovered in the improved situation where there were no bombs, bullets and stones. Stones were as deadly as the bullets because that also disrupted life and killed and injured people. Stones were a manifestation of militancy, deadlier than bombs and bullets.
Now when, according to BJP leaders in Kashmir, Home Minister has announced that the [arty will contest all the Assembly seats across J&K, it is clearer than ever before that the party has seen brighter prospects in political terms. More than that it is confident that the confidence of the people would get boosted with his announcement.
“Gear up for the Assembly polls,” as Home Minister has been quoted, telling the party leaders in the Valley whom he met soon after his arrival in Srinagar on Thursday evening, is a wider message than simply suggesting that party should be ready to face the battle of ballots in Assembly polls. It is to say that the people should understand that the party keeps its promise. Home Minister himself had declared that the Assembly polls in J&K would be held as per the directions by September 30, 2024. Now after the Lok Sabha elections, in which it is expected and widely believed that Narendra Modi will return as Prime Minister for a third-term, the party has to display its flag and symbol in the Assembly polls. This is manifestation of the commitment, and that too when the appetite is not just for the Assembly polls, but also for the BJP to come and contest.
Well, it is true that some battles are fought not necessarily for winning, as Home Minister underlined in Srinagar, but absenteeism also sharpens the appetite. Now the people, particularly those who were waiting to vote for BJP in Lok Sabha polls, are eager to vote for the party. Since this opportunity is not there in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir, they will have to wait for their turn to vote for BJP in Assembly elections.
BJP has experimented with absenteeism in polls this time, but it is not going to be repeated in Assembly polls. That is clear message that Home Minister has delivered for the people of J&K.