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BJP searching for ‘fresh faces’ in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 28: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is banking on young faces to win hearts and counter its ‘anti-Muslim’ image in the Valley.

BJP will be zeroing in on five young leaders in every district that will be projected as the ‘face of the party’ in Kashmir.

 

“Our focus is on youth. We already have many young faces in the party and youth in large numbers are joining the party-fold. In every district of Kashmir, we will identify five youth, who will become the face of the party in their respective districts. They will be made district level in-charge and we all will work on ground for the people so that the party wins the hearts of the people of Valley,” BJP media-in-charge Manzoor Bhat told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said, in this regard, an interactive programme for the youth was held here in Srinagar city on Wednesday and similar programmes will be held across the districts of the Valley.

“Yesterday’s programme was held as part of our efforts as to how we can change the dynamics of politics in the Kashmir valley through the youth. We will have similar programmes in all districts that will have an entire focus on the youth of Kashmir,” said Bhat.

The BJP had already embarked out on a separate extensive general training programme for its cadre to spread the party ideology in the Valley.

Bhat said an ‘anti-Muslim’ image of the BJP had been created in Kashmir. “When the youth come to our office, they come with a mindset that BJP is anti-Muslim. But, when they see that we work for development, the false notion changes,” he said.

BJP UT general secretary (organization) Ashok Koul, who had chaired Wednesday’s interaction with the youth, too said ‘some parties’ in Jammu and Kashmir had created an impression that they were anti-Muslim. He said, despite that, the BJP was in a ‘strong position’ in the Valley and youth would now work for ‘peace’.

“Some parties had created propaganda that BJP is an anti-Muslim party but we can see on ground development speaks. The majority of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir exploited people for the sake of power but BJP is the only party where everyone is treated equally. BJP workers serve people irrespective of any interests. Our maximum focus should be on educated youth of the valley who will work for peace and prosperity in the valley,” he said.

Though the BJP had won three seats in the recent District Development Council (DDC) elections, the party has never won an assembly or Parliamentary election in the Valley. The BJP also won over 100 seats in the 2018 municipal elections amid a boycott by the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party.