BJP claims big support to Article 370 in separatists' hub

Maximum number of enrolment was registered from South Kashmir.

New Delhi: At a time when the BJP is being flayed by the Opposition for its “high handedness” in the Kashmir and the way its abrogated Article 370, the saffron party has claimed to have received “encouraging” support in the separatists hotbeds, including in Tral, the hometown of slain Hizbul Mujahiddeen commander Burhan Wani and terror outfit Ansar Gazwatul-ul-Hind commander Zakir Musa, who was eliminated earlier this year.

The party claimed that nearly 1,000 locals from Tral have enrolled as BJP members during its recently concluded membership drive, while nearly 4,000 new members have enrolled in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam, considered as separatists stronghold. The first task of the newly enrolled members will be to participate in “Seva Saptah”, a week long event to commemorate Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s birthday, which falls on September 17.

The membership drive had ended on August 20, a fortnight after the Modi government repealed the contentious Article 370, which gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Just like the rest of the Valley, even the BJP leaders and workers are awaiting the cellphone services to be restored for the total tally of members in the region as many had enroled through the missed call service.

Maximum number of enrolment was registered from South Kashmir.

“It is definitely an achievement for the BJP, which is now considered as a mainstrean party, not just in Jammu but in Kashmir also. Also, the enrolment indicates that the people have started rejecting the propaganda unleashed for all these years by the regional outfits and the separatists against the BJP. They have realised that they had been duped by the regional parties, separatists and the Congress all these years in the name of Article 370. Now, some of these members will be given organisational responsibilities and will also participate in the ongoing organisational polls,” said a BJP strategist working in the region. During the last membership drive the BJP had registered more than five lakh members in the state and the target of the recently concluded drive was to reach the 17 lakh mark.

Incidentally, the BJP had bagged more votes than the National Conference in the Tral segment of the Anantnag parliamentary seats during the Lok Sabha polls and the NC vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah had mentioned it in one of his speeches recently to warn against boycotting assembly polls, which he claimed would only benefit the BJP in the state, which is currently under the President’s Rule.

“The BJP organisational strength primarily depends on how strong our booth level team is and some of these members will now be part of booth level units. Every booth will have a team of 100, with 13 members forming the core team, including minimum of four women. Some of these newly enrolled members will also participate in the organisational polls,” said the party’s strategist.

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