Thursday, January 28th, 2021 15:09:33

“BJP’s development-oriented policies paid off in Kashmir elections”

Updated: January 12, 2021 2:23 pm

“After 70 years, DDC elections in Jammu-Kashmir were held in three layers. After the abrogation of Article 370, those people who used to claim that nobody in the Valley would pick up the tricolour have got a befitting reply from the people of Jammu-Kashmir. More than 55 per cent of votes were polled in the Valley. Elections were also held in the outskirts of Kashmir. Participation of youths in the election process is an important step in strengthening the democratic process in the Valley. After the abrogation of Article 370, the DDC election has shown the trust of the people in the government,” said Ashish Sood, Co-in-charge, Jammu & Kashmir BJP, former Leader of House, SDMC, and General Secretary, Delhi BJP, in a conversation with Ravi Mishra. Excerpts:

 

You were Co-in-charge of the recently concluded DDC (District Development Council) election in Jammu-Kashmir, in which Bharatiya Janata Party registered an impressive performance. What would you like to say on this? 

After 70 years, DDC elections in Jammu-Kashmir were held in three layers. After the abrogation of Article 370, those people who used to claim that nobody in the Valley would pick up the tricolour have got a befitting reply from the people of Jammu-Kashmir. More than 55 per cent of votes were polled in the Valley. Elections were also held in the outskirts of Kashmir. Participation of youths in the election process is an important step in strengthening the democratic process in the Valley. After the abrogation of Article 370, the DDC election has shown the trust of the people in the government.

 

What were the issues raised by the BJP in this election?

The first issue was total integration of Kashmir with the country. Bringing Kashmir into the mainstream of the country after abrogation of Article 370, development of Kashmir under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, zero tolerance towards corruption and development of every nook and cranny of Kashmir were the real issues for us, and the people of the Valley voted on these issues. The BJP talked about fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Here I would like to mention that the way Muftis and Abdullahs had made their family an organisation of loot, they were exposed before the people. People for the first time got to know how Muftis and Abdullahs were looting resources of Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, corruption-free and development were our core issues in this election. And  BJP’s development-oriented policies paid off in Kashmir elections.

Mehbooba Mufti and the Abdullah family contested elections against BJP with the help of Gupkar declaration. What would you like to say on this?  

See, these are the same people who used to say that they would not contest elections until Article 370 is restored in the Valley. Because it was their strategy to stop the development of J&K. That’s why elections of District Councils were held all over the country except Jammu and Kashmir. It is only because these people wanted to control all the power in the Valley. Secondly, they said they would not participate in the election process of Jammu and Kashmir. But, when the people came out to participate in this democratic process, these people had no other option but to come to participate in this democratic process. In a democratic process, you can oppose anything. You can also express your opinion before the people. You can make them aware of anything. You can go to a court. But those who conspire to break the country get a befitting reply from the people. Even the condition of their alliance was as such, which are said to be mainstream parties by a section of media in the country, that they were not able to contest elections on 280 seats. Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP only contested 68 seats in four-five districts. The whole Gupkar alliance consists of six parties, and it fought on only 220 seats. Mehbooba Mufti, Abdullah family, Sajjad Lone, Communist party of India, having tacit support from Congress, contested elections together. Congress ruled Jammu-Kashmir for years, but it also was able to contest on only 118 seats. BJP was the only party that contested on 186 seats alone. Interesting thing is that more than 50 independent candidates won elections from Srinagar side. It also shows how irrelevant the Mufti, Abdullah and Lone families have become.

 

Can Assembly elections be held in Kashmir?

See, this is an administrative matter. In this context, I read somewhere that Lt. Governor said the process of delimitation is under way. Therefore, we should wait on this subject. However, I would like to say that for bringing all democratic standards into existence in Jammu and Kashmir, all steps are being taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And the Bharatiya Janata Party believes in establishing the best standards of democracy in J&K. Therefore, once all the administrative processes are completed,all democratic methods will be established.

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