The BJP has set a target of winning at least 35 seats on its own in the forthcoming Assembly poll so as to have its own Chief Minister in this only Muslim-majority state of the country. Notably, the saffron party had taken lead in 27 Assembly segments in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
During its state executive committee, held first time after the Lok Sabha elections, the party leadership was confident about improving its performance in the Assembly elections as compared to the Lok Sabha poll.
“We have devised a strategy to win minimum 35 seats in the forthcoming Assembly elections so as to install our own Chief Minister,” a senior BJP leader, wishing anonymity told Kashmir Post, adding, “the party leadership is confident of achieving the target”.
Sources said during the discussion, the party leadership pointed out that the NC, PDP and Congress had jointly fought the Lok Sabha elections in the Jammu province, comprising 37 seats. “The leaders were of the view that the three parties would fight Assembly elections separately so it will be easy for the BJP to win a majority of the seats from the erstwhile Doda district,” a source said.
It was decided to enrol new members, especially Gujjars, in the Jammu region to make inroads in Poonch and Rajouri. “The party is going to vociferously take up the issue of granting political reservation to the STs so as to strength base among Gujjars and Bakerwals who have a huge population in Poonch and Rajouri,” a senior leader said, adding that the party had successfully generated a debate among Gujjars and Bakerwals that Kashmir-centric parties had joined hands to oppose quota for them. He said the party had realized that with the support of Gujjars and Bakerwals, it would be able to cross the 40-mark in 87-member Assembly.
‘Defreeze seats’ At the executive committee meeting, the BJP passed a resolution to set up a delimitation commission, besides defreezing Assembly seats kept reserved for the residents of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.