Rajnath, Shah to meet top BJP leaders on J&K elections

BJP to gather opinion on simultaneous polls
MHA to take feedback from State shortly
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Jan 5: BJP president Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP general secretary (Organizations) Ram Lal and BJP general secretary and party’s pointman on Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav would hold crucial meeting with top party leaders from Jammu and Kashmir including all Members of Parliament (MPs), former MLAs, MLCs, State office bearers and other selected invitees in New Delhi on January 11 and 12 during BJP’s National Council meeting to take their opinion on simultaneous Assembly elections with Lok Sabha polls.
Sources told the Excelsior that though the Election Commission of India had to take final call on clubbing Assembly polls with the Lok Sabha elections or not but it had to take opinion of the Union Home Ministry and reports from its representatives in Jammu and Kashmiri i.e. the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) besides civil and police administration especially in view of complex security situation in the State, where by-poll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat couldn’t be held for past about two years due to heightened militancy in South Kashmir.
According to party sources, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah were expected to hold separate sessions with the J&K BJP leaders in the presence of Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, BJP national general secretary (organizations) Ram Lal and Ram Madhav among others in New Delhi to discuss the party’s strategy for the elections and take their opinion on simultaneous polls of Assembly with Lok Sabha.
“The Union Home Minister was also expected to take feedback from the State Government on security situation in Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley before conveying its opinion on whether to hold Assembly elections simultaneously with Lok Sabha or defer them,” sources said.
Rajnath had recently stated in the Parliament that if the Election Commission desired to hold Assembly elections in the State along with Lok Sabha polls, the Home Ministry would have no objection and will provide all possible security including additional deployment of para-military forces.
All BJP MPs from the State including two Lok Sabha and lone Rajya Sabha members, all 25 former MLAs, sitting MLCs, State office bearers, led by party president Ravinder Raina, district presidents and heads of frontal organizations will be in the Union capital on January 11 and 12 to attend party’s National Council meeting, which is to be chaired by Amit Shah. They will have separate meetings with Rajnath and Shah in the presence of other senior leaders on the sidelines of the National Council in view of Assembly elections in the State, which were due before May as the Legislative Assembly was dissolved by the Governor on November 21. In the normal circumstances, the Assembly elections have to be held within six month of its dissolution.
“The BJP high command including Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh want to take feedback from the top party leaders on security situation in the State especially in the Valley,” sources pointed out, adding since all top leaders of the BJP from Jammu and Kashmir will be in New Delhi for couple of days on January 11 and 12, the meetings have been planned there.
While Amit Shah, Ram Lal and Ram Madhav are expected to meet all BJP leaders from the State, who will be attending the National Council meeting, Rajnath Singh was likely to meet only selected leaders, sources said.
While Lok Sabha elections are due to be held in the State along with other parts of the country in April-May this year, there has been divided opinion on holding Assembly elections simultaneously with Lok Sabha polls.
However, sources said, the Election Commission of India will be soon holding a meeting to review situation in Jammu and Kashmir before taking a call on whether to hold both the elections together or defer the Assembly polls.
Sources said the BJP’s National Council will also discuss the party’s preparations for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, wherever due, including Jammu and Kashmir. The State unit leaders of the party will give detailed feedback to the national high command.


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