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Posted at: Nov 7, 2018, 1:08 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2018, 1:08 AM (IST)

Ahead of LS poll, failure to hold ‘citadels’ worries BJP

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 6

Even as the BJP has made inroad in the Kashmir valley, the outcome of the civic bodies elections has send a warning signal to the “over-confident” incumbent leadership in the state, as the party has failed to hold its “citadels”.

Publicly, the BJP leadership presented a “brave face” after attaining majority in the prestigious Jammu Municipal Corporation elections by winning 43 out of the total 75 seats, but the leadership is worried about the eroding base of the party in Ladakh and the mountainous belts of Jammu province.

“The failure of the party to win even a single seat in the Kargil and Leh municipal committees of the Ladakh region is a warning sign ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,” a senior BJP leader told The Tribune, maintaining, “Except promises, nothing has been done to fulfil the wishes and aspirations of the people of Ladakh.”

He said party’s U-turn on the promise to grant Union Territory status to Ladakh would prove disastrous in the coming Lok Sabha elections. Due to the overwhelming support of Buddhists, BJP candidate Thupstan Chhewang had won the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat by a narrow margin of 36 votes.

“The BJP is J&K is bearing the brunt of performance of the party ministers in the erstwhile PDP-BJP coalition government headed by Mehbooba Mufti,” he said.

A veteran leader associated with the party since the days of the Jan Sangh said allowing the previous coalition to take some highly controversial decisions would prove counter-productive in the days to come.

In the 2014 parliamentary elections, the BJP had won three out of the total six Lok Sabha seats in the state.

“People are also annoyed with the performance of all three sitting Lok Sabha members of the party,” he said and pointed towards the incident of heckling of a senior leader at Kishtwar on Friday to substantiate his argument. “Instead of fulfilling the aspirations of people, our Lok Sabha leaders are banking on the Modi wave to win the elections,” he said.


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