BJP gears up to 'represent JK in Rajya Sabha'

Greater Kashmir

Deliberations on to win maximum seats: Ashok Koul

Srinagar, Jan 21:  The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up to “mark its presence” in Rajya Sabha in the forthcoming polls to four RS seats in Jammu and Kashmir, a party leader said Wednesday. He said the party has started “hectic deliberations to ensure it bags at least two seats given its number of legislators and the outside support.”
“We are very serious about RS polls and want to gain maximum because we have the numbers,” said BJP’s State Secretary (Organization), Ashok Koul.
He said the BJP leaders are “busy devising a strategy to ensure at least two seats go into our kitty.”
“We don’t need to tie up with any party for winning two seats because we have enough numbers,” Koul, who is BJP’s Core Group member, said.
“We are not fighting the RS polls in a casual approach. We are very serious. Our MPs will represent J&K in a true sense in RS,” he said.
Asked whether BJP has finalized its nominees, Koul said the process is on and the names would be announced soon.
“We don’t have dearth of candidates. The only thing is we want to join the fray with a proper strategy,” he said.
A senior BJP leader, wishing not to be named, said they will easily bag two seats while PDP can also win two seats. “One thing that makes us happy is that Congress will have no representation from J&K in RS,” he said.
If the BJP wins two seats, it would be for the first time in JK’s political history that the BJP will have a representative from the State in Rajya Sabha. “It will obviously be a historic development,” the BJP leader said.
BJP bagged 25 seats from Jammu in the recent assembly elections. “BJP leaders are already in touch with independent legislators in Kashmir and Jammu to ensure smooth sail in the RS polls,” the sources said.
Pertinently, no party in the State is in a position to win a seat on its own. Four seats falling vacant are of Ghulam Nabi Azad, Prof Saifudin Soz, Muhammad Shafi and Ghulam Nabi Rattanpuri.
The term of Azad and Soz will end on February 10 while the term of Rattanpuri and Uri on February 15.
According to the officials at the Election Commission, the 87 elected members of the legislative assembly will have to vote thrice to elect the four members.
The NC and Congress have 15 and 12 seats respectively. People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone has two seats and other small parties and independents have five seats. “The winning prospects of NC and Congress in the upcoming RS elections are very bleak as both the parties are without numbers. The RS elections will clear the air on possible alliances for forming the government as well,” sources said.