Amit Shah

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah today lauded the people of Jammu and Kashmir for braving threats…

JAMMU: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah today lauded the people of Jammu and Kashmir for braving threats and boycott calls to turn up in large number to exercise their right to franchise in Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections in the State, which were conducted successfully under the Governor’s rule after a gap of several years.

Shah said this in a meeting while reviewing affairs of Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi today.

BJP general secretary and party’s pointman on Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav, Avinash Rai Khanna, State BJP chief Ravinder Raina and State general secretary (organizations) Ashok Koul attended the meeting.

Shah had appreciated successful conduct of Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir after more than eight years and Panchayat polls after over two years and victory of maximum BJP candidates in both the bodies.

“People have full faith in the BJP, which was evident from the party’s resounding victory in Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat elections. The BJP will get majority in the upcoming Assembly elections also and form its Government in the State,” insiders quoted Shah as saying in the meeting.

Shah said despite threats by the militants and separatists and boycott calls by two mainstream political parties including National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the people participate in large numbers in the elections for Panchayats and Municipalities, which showed their immense faith in democratic system of the country.

“People ignored the boycott calls and openly participated in the elections, which was evident from good turnout in the elections to civic bodies across the State,” Shah said and lauded State leadership of the BJP for party’s victory in maximum numbers of Municipalities and Panchayats.

The BJP national president called upon the State leaders and Incharge of Jammu and Kashmir to gear up for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State immediately to ensure party’s victory on maximum seats. He reviewed preparations for both the elections.

The BJP had won three Lok Sabha seats including Jammu-Poonch, Doda-Udhampur and Ladakh in 2014 Parliamentary polls out of total of six seats in the State. It had captured 25 Assembly seats in 2014 Assembly elections and became coalition partner in the State for the first time with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

While Lok Sabha elections were scheduled to be held in April-May, the Election Commission was yet to take call on when to hold the Assembly elections in the State. The Legislative Assembly was dissolved by Governor Satya Pal Malik on November 21 and the elections had to be held within six months of the dissolution.

Meanwhile, the BJP national council, the party’s largest organizational body, will meet in New Delhi on January 11-12, while its key wings will hold meetings across the country in the coming weeks as it steps up its campaign for the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

The dates were finalised at a meeting, which was chaired by Amit Shah, of the party’s office bearers and key leaders from States.

Dates of the meeting of the seven ‘morchas’, party’s key wings focused on different demographic groups, were also finalised.

The youth, women, scheduled castes, and minorities’ wings will be meeting respectively on December 15-16, December 21-22, January 19-20 and January 31-February 1 in Delhi, Ahmdabad, Nagpur and Delhi.

The Scheduled Tribes, other backward communities and farmers’ wings will hold their respective meetings on February 2-3, February 15-16 and February 21-22 in Bhubaneswar, Patna and Uttar Pradesh.

Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari besides Shah, will be addressing these meetings.

The meetings of different party wings will highlight the BJP’s efforts to reach out to different sections of society ahead of the Lok Sabha polls as it works to retain power at the Centre.