The wind of politics is changing in the new Jammu and Kashmir, the broken supremacy of Kashmir-centric parties: Jammu Kashmir.
The politics of this state was confined to two to three parties for decades, but in the last twenty years, especially after the abrogation of Article 370, the political developments are changing rapidly.
In Kashmir, where the dominance of the oldest party National Conference has diminished. At the same time, in Jammu, the BJP is engaged in strengthening its ground.
It is not a big deal that BJP will succeed in Kashmir also. Due to the activism of the BJP, the fragrance of nationalism in Kashmir has also started flowing.
The changing political equations are also being seen as a preparation for political parties ahead of the post-delimitation assembly elections.
The BJP is trying its best this time to make its Chief Minister in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the history of Jammu and Kashmir, from 1947 to 2002, except for the 18-month tenure of the ANC, the National Conference and the Congress have been in power for more than 50 years.
The Bharatiya Janata Party did contest elections, but the base was limited.
In 1999, former Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed formed the PDP to challenge the National Conference and formed the government in 2002 with the Congress.
This was the first time that the National Conference was challenged in Kashmir.
However, in the year 2008, the National Conference made a comeback by winning the assembly elections.
But the 2014 elections laid the foundation for changing the political equation of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the 2014 elections, the Congress, which dominated the Jammu division, was challenged by the BJP, and the PDP emerged as a major party in Kashmir.
Surprisingly, the PDP formed the government in alliance with the BJP. However, due to differences between the two parties, the government could not last much.
The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conferences also got two seats in these assembly elections. This party was formed in the year 1978 by Abdul Gani Lone.
BJP’s strategy to take Rana, Salathia along:
Despite winning 25 seats in the Jammu division in the 2014 assembly elections, the BJP was unable to make its chief minister.
Then it had to form the government with its arch-rival PDP. The PDP had won 28 seats in the 89-seat elections.
After forming a coalition government, the BJP tried to increase its base in Kashmir, but it was challenging. This is the reason that at present the BJP has focused more on the Jammu division.
The inclusion of Devendra Singh Rana and Surjit Singh Salathia of the National Conference in the party is part of this strategy of the BJP. Rana is considered a leader with a mass base.
Salathia also has its own identity.
BJP’s strategy is to eliminate the opposition’s challenge by including leaders with a mass base in Jammu.
One assembly seat expected to increase in the Udhampur district: In the last assembly elections, the BJP had to face defeat in Udhampur.
However, Pawan Gupta, who defeated the BJP candidate, has already joined the BJP. Now there is talk of former MLA Balwant Singh Mankotia also joining BJP.
The delimitation is expected to increase one assembly seat in the Udhampur district.
BJP is focusing more on Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur. Saraf Singh Nag, who is already challenging the BJP in Reasi, has been made the chairman of the District Development Council by the party.
The Apni party also expressed hope after the abrogation of Article 370, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party was formed.
Barring Congress, PDP and National Conference 31 senior leaders participated in it. This party of former minister Altaf Bukhari is giving a direct challenge to the National Conference in Kashmir.
Work will have to be done for Jammu: Political expert Prof. Hari Om says that BJP can be strong in Jammu only if it solves the problems of the people.
It doesn’t matter whether any leader comes or goes to the party. It is necessary to fulfill the expectations of the people. However, he did say that the National Conference would be weak in Jammu.