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news details
BJP to rely on independents in Kashmir
10/16/2019 10:39:52 PM

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Oct 16: BJP has to take the support of independents to win maximum seats in Kashmir and to strengthen its base in the valley.
At least 1065 candidates are in fray to contest on 316 blocks in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of 316 BDCs, 148 are in Jammu, 137 in Kashmir, and 31 in Ladakh. The elections are to be held only on 130 blocks in Kashmir.
However, the BJP has decided to contest only on 70 seats in the valley.
A BJP leader said the party would support the 60 candidates who would contest as independents in Kashmir.
"They (60 candidates) are with us but will contest as independents. We need support of independents to win maximum seats in Kashmir. A lot of independents are with us," he said.
The BJP is the only party, which has been carrying election related activities both in Kashmir and Jammu.
The multi phase Panchayat elections were held on non party basis in November-December last year.
However, the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party had boycotted the polls in protest against the Centre's move to abrogate Article 35A. The duo along with the Congress have now boycotted the BDC polls citing the ongoing clampdown in Kashmir.
A BJP source said that party has decided to give party symbols to only 70 candidates. "We will support the rest of 60 candidates who will contest as independents. They too will support of candidates. BJP wants to win polls with thumping majority in Jammu and Kashmir," the source said.
"After the elections, the independents will rejoin the party. Some have contested elections because of threats while others because of resentment in Kashmir against the BJP following abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories," the BJP source added.
All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Association, (AJKPA) an apex body of elected Panchs and Sarpanchs has decided not to align with any political party and contest BDC elections as independents.
"How is it viable to fight the second tier of panchayat polls on party basis when the first tier was contested on non-party lines? The institution of Panchayati Raj is being politicized. There is a political motive behind the decision so that a particular political reaps benefits," chairman AJKPA Shafiq Mir has said.
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