PDP, NC cadre joining fray as Independents: Madhav

‘BJP will win good number of seats across State’
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Sept 27: BJP general secretary and party’s pointman on Jammu and Kashmir Ram Madhav said today that his party has put up large number of candidates in most difficult areas like South Kashmir districts and claimed that even the cadre of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference have been joining the electoral fray as Independent candidates.
Madhav, who reached Srinagar this morning for inter-action with party leaders and candidates of Municipal elections, held separate meetings with them and expressed confidence that the BJP will win good number of seats across all three regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
After review meetings, Madhav told selective reporters that the BJP has put up large number of candidates across all three regions of the State including difficult areas of South Kashmir districts.
“In most difficult areas, like districts in South Kashmir, the BJP has put up large number of candidates and we are quite confident of people’s support,” he said,
Describing as “unfortunate” the call for election boycott given by two regional political parties including PDP and National Conference, Madhav said: “I got to know that even their (the PDP and NC) people are filing nominations as Independent candidates”.
Few days back, National Conference spokesman Junaid Mattu had revolted against the party decision to boycott Municipal and Panchayat elections and decided to contest Srinagar Municipal Council (SMC) poll. NC and PDP have expelled some candidates in Jammu region for joining the ongoing electoral exercise for Urban Local Bodies as Independents. Sources said more cadres of the two parties could jump into election fray once nominations are open for the Panchayat polls.
Soon after his arrival in Srinagar, Madhav, accompanied by senior BJP leaders Sunil Sharma, former Minister and Sofi Yusuf, MLC, was closeted with party leaders and workers from Kashmir to discuss the election management and strategy for the Valley.
Assuring full security for the elections, Madhav told the candidates that the Centre has approved additional para-military forces for conduct of smooth elections in the State including the Kashmir valley and the candidates needn’t fear the militant threats. He told them that security forces were taking on the militants all across the Valley and number of them have been eliminated or captured.
He called upon the BJP leaders to expose National Conference and PDP for boycotting elections saying the polls were in interest of the people as they will bring Rs 4300 crore worth grants for Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats from the Central Government leading to massive development works, which will be identified by newly elected representatives of the people.
Later, the BJP national general secretary met the party candidates for Municipal elections and boosted their morale. He told them that the BJP is poised to win good number of seats across the State including the Valley.
Madhav will tomorrow visit Jammu region, where he will review election management with senior party leaders and visit Bishnah and Samba to meet the party candidates for the Municipal elections and address them.
BJP and Congress are two major parties in election fray in Kashmir besides People’s Conference of Sajjad Lone, an ally of the BJP, in the absence of PDP and NC, which had decided to boycott the polls for Central Government’s decision to link Article 35-A with Municipal and Panchayat polls.
This time, sources said, Madhav’s visit would be confined to smooth conduct of Municipal and Panchayat elections and no talks were expected on other issues like Government formation or strategy for Lok Sabha elections.
Recently, Governor Satya Pal Malik had stated that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir could be held after Panchayat and Municipal polls.