Srinagar, Dec 13: Ahead of Parliamentary and Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP National President Amit Shah would hold a meeting with state BJP leaders to discuss the strategy for the polls.
A BJP leader said that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah would seek feedback from the state party leaders for the upcoming polls. “They would discuss how to go with Parliamentary and Assembly polls,” the BJP leader said.
The Parliamentary and Assembly elections are due in April-May. The BJP leader said that they are eyeing on few seats in Kashmir. “There is likely to be pre-poll alliance with the Peoples Conference.
But still the BJP wants to win few seats from Kashmir on its own,” the BJP leader said. The BJP leader said that BJP has made inroads into the Valley for the last few years. “We have so many panchayat and urban local bodies constituencies. We also managed to make the Mayor from the Peoples Conference,” the BJP leader said.
The BJP leader said that the Prime Minister and the BJP National President will also elicit opinion from the party leaders on whether to go for simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and Assembly in April-May or defer the Assembly elections by a couple of months.
“The BJP’s preparations for the elections including retaining three Lok Sabha seats out of six it won in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and annex more will figure at the high level review meeting of the party. Similar will be the discussions on the Assembly elections as the party had won 25 seats in 2014 Assembly elections but now it wants to cross the figure of 30 though publicly the party will set the target of 44 i.e. majority mark,” the BJP leader said.
From Jammu and Kashmir, State BJP president, Ravinder Raina and General Secretary (Organizations) Ashok Koul are expected to attend the meeting.
This meeting will be joined by Ram Madhav, BJP General Secretary and party’s points man on Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, Lok Sabha member from Jammu-Poonch, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Ravinder Raina, Ashok Koul and some other senior party leaders from the State.
The source said that a final decision vested with the Election Commission, which has to hold Assembly polls within six months of dissolution of the House.
As the Assembly was dissolved on November 21, the elections have to be held before May 21, 2019.
According to sources, a date for visits of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir will be decided by the party leaders in coming days.
While Modi is scheduled to visit the State for laying foundation stone or inauguration of some projects under the Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP) etc, Shah is likely to address the party workers meeting and hold deliberations with senior party leaders to discuss the strategy for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
“Political situation in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections including strategy of other major stakeholders like National Conference, PDP, Congress, People’s Conference and some small players, will also be discussed at the meeting,” the source said.
Media blitz calls for payback, masks voices calling for peace
Srinagar, Feb 15: The suicide bombing attack that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF men in south Kashmir has evoked completely opposite reactions on social media in Kashmir and other states of India.
On Thursday, a deadly attack took place at Lethpora area in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a CRPF convoy.
While Kashmiri voices have called for political solution to the valley, the Indian politicians, intellectuals, TV news channels and a section of media personnel are predictably demanding an eye for an eye solution.
For instance, channels like leading National news channels like Republic and Times Now have openly incited hate by calling for revenge running the hashtags #Indiawantsrevenge and #Indiaseeksjustice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Our neighbouring nation that stands isolated in international community today… if they think that they will succeed in attacking India’s stability by committing such dastardly acts, they are wrong, India will emerge stronger.”
Union Minister Arun Jaitley said in a statement, “Most Favoured Nation status to Pak stands withdrawn. MEA will engage with international community to ensure that convention on international terrorism is adopted. Security forces will ensure those responsible for this heinous attack pay a heavy price.”
Senior Associate Editor Republic, Aditya Raj Koul tweeted, “Strong words from PM Narendra Modi on Pulwama terror attack: Terrorists will pay a heavy price for this dastardly act. Pak designs won’t succeed, our neighboring country should realise that it can’t create instability in India with such conspiracies. Free hand to forces.”
Vir Sanghvi, Journalist and TV anchor posted on Twitter, “India must respond. Pakistan can’t be allowed to get away with these attacks. I am sure that there will be a strong military response within the next week. And no matter which party we back, all Indians must unite against Pakistan and the terrorists it feeds, shelters & arms.”
Meanwhile, the prominent Kashmiri voices, intellectuals spoke of for the resolution of the conflict that leads to such incidents. Politicians across the spectrum condemned the attack and called for “sustained dialogue”.
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti posted on twitter, “No mainstream pol in J&K will condone terrorism. Dangerous how certain channels are trying to create an alternate reality. They churn lies, hatred and a divisive agenda, I have ventured sans security into the areas no man in the 90’s would step into. So plz wake up and smell the coffee.”
Noted Journalist, Gowhar Geelani tweeted, “Politicians in Delhi and Islamabad need to move beyond rhetoric and revenge politics and acknowledge and respect the political aspirations of Kashmiri people for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Violence and counter violence will not solve anything.”
Social rights activist and doctor at SMHS, Khawar Khan Achakzai tweeted, “The only way is accepting that Kashmir is a politically disputed territory, respecting the aspirations of people of J&K, engaging in talks and chalking out a road map for de-militarisation.”
Lethpora attack leaves security agencies shocked, guessing
Srinagar, Feb 15: On a wintry February 14 afternoon, a CRPF convoy moving on Srinagar-Jammu Highway reached Awantipora town in southern Kashmir, a suicide (Fidayeen) car bomber blew up himself by ramming into the two CRPF buses leaving around 49 dead and dozens others injured critically.
Soon after the incident militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed the responsibility and identified the car bomber a local youth of Pulwama, who had joined the outfit last year.
Like earlier attacks on forces, this brutal attack has left the security establishment shocked and guessing. The J&K governor admitted the mistake and termed it a major “security lapse and intelligence failure”.
“We are working out on the things about the loopholes that took a massive toll on forces. Where did we fail in protecting forces while they travel in convoys on the highway?” said a top officer in J&K police dealing with security wing.
Militants carry out their assaults despite deployment of CRPF, police and Army on the connecting points on the highway.
However, the attack on the government forces on Srinagar-Jammu highway is not the first, but this one is the most deadly in the last three decades ever since armed militancy broke out in Kashmir.
The security agencies and the NIA team investigating the attack have raised some key points as to why the attack yet again took place between Pampore and Awantipora stretch of the highway.
Two years ago, in June, militants daringly stopped CRPF bus on the same highway in the Pampore town, few miles away from this blast site, and rained it with bullets from different directions, killing eight CRPF men and injuring 22 others.
Earlier, three militants suddenly appeared on the highway near EDI building, fired on a CRPF bus, wounding 11 personnel and then rushed into the EDI building.
The frequent attacks on the highway are a reminder of deadly attacks on forces carried out by militants in the conflict-torn Kashmir after the insurgency began in 1987.
In 2014, two days before August 15-India’s Independence Day, militants again attacked a police party resulting in killing of two security guards of a police official and a civilian.
In the same year, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second visit to J&K, militants ambushed BSF convoy at Kadlabal in Pampore town leaving eight men including assistant commandant seriously injured.
In July 2012, militants attacked Convoy Protection Force Party of army from a close range killing a soldier and injuring another one seriously.
Almost 10 years ago, in Dec 2006, militants attacked a police party in Kadlibal and killed SHO Manzoor Ahmed and injured his two security guards. A civilian was also killed in the attack.
Officials in police and other counterinsurgency said that militants have many reasons to choose this 20 kilometer stretch for their assaults. “One of the reasons is that the Highway along the Pampore town has a number of link roads connecting on it with internal areas. Two, the Highway sneaks along the Jhelum River,” they said.
Adv Ganai visits Srinagar Base Hospital, enquires about injured CRPF personnel
Srinagar, Feb 15: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Friday visited the Army’s 92-Base Hospital here to enquire about the CRPF personnel who were injured in Thursday’s attack at Lethpora in Pulwama.He prayed for speedy recovery of the injured troopers undergoing treatment at the Hospital.
Later, the Advisor visited the CRPF Centre, Humhama where he laid wreath over the mortal remains of those who were slain in the attack. Condemning the attack, he conveyed his heart-felt condolences to the bereaved families who lost their dear ones.