BJP's July 7 meeting

J&K political parties also keeping a tab
J&K BJP President while traveling  through Bijbehara during his recent south Kashmir visit also visited  the mausoleum of former chief minister and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed  and offered floral tributes.
J&K BJP President while traveling through Bijbehara during his recent south Kashmir visit also visited the mausoleum of former chief minister and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and offered floral tributes. Special arrangement

A meeting of BJP party for north zone states and union territories  on July 7 in New Delhi has  created some  interest in the political circles of Jammu and Kashmir also. 

Party president J P Nadda is scheduled to chair the meeting, which will also be attended among others by J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina, union minister Jitendra Singh and party general secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul.

Some media reports indicate that the meeting is a part of an exercise by BJP to change several of  its state and union territories' presidents  before  Lok Sabha polls and that the J&K president may be also changed. However, Raina told media that the meeting is purely for the preparations for the Lok Sabha polls.

His one liner on his twitter and Facebook accounts- Tiger Abhi Zinda Hai- also created some kind of suspense. While neither Raina nor any other leader from his party elaborated on the one liner, some say that it was an indirect message from him that he was going to stay as  BJP president and that he will not be changed.

There were also reports that Raina may be fielded as party candidate from Jammu- Reasi Lok Sabha seat in elections next year. However, this can become clear when the election time comes

Raina is J&K BJP president since May 13, 2018. Unlike his predecessors he has not limited his activities to Jammu only but is very much visible and active in Kashmir also. He can be seen addressing party and public meetings in different areas in Kashmir.

Political observers say that Raina has been able to create a political connection with various sections of people in different areas. His ability to easily mix up with common  people, listen to them with patience, talk to them and get their problems  resolved makes him somewhat different from most of his other party leaders.

He had a meeting with traders in Batamaloo in Srinagar some time back. During a recent visit to Shopian , he addressed the apple growers and traders of the district at Aglar Fruit Mandi and also spoke at a public rally at Zainapora.

J&K BJP President while traveling  through Bijbehara during his recent south Kashmir visit also visited  the mausoleum of former chief minister and PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed  and offered floral tributes.

Talking to media persons there he paid rich tributes to Mufti and described him as a tall leader who always advocated and worked for peace and communal brotherhood.

His visit took certain political sections by surprise because BJP has been targeting the PDP leadership and blaming it and National Conference and Congress for all ills in J&K. Several questions were also raised by some quarters in connection with the  visit.

Was Raina's visit against the BJP's present stand towards PDP? Did he unwittingly land himself in trouble within the party by doing so? And there were some who believe that if Raina is removed from the post, his visit to Mufti's grave may be also a reason as otherwise he has performed exceptionally well during his tenure as J&K BJP president.

But there are others who say that his visit is not a big issue given the growing stature of Raina in J&K politics and his contributions for the BJP.

According to them the BJP J&K president did not do anything wrong by visiting the mausoleum since Mufti was the chief minister of PDP- BJP coalition government and that a number of BJP leaders held him in high esteem. 

During the initial days of the coalition government there were some problems due to certain statements and moves by Mufti as Chief Minister. The things became difficult for BJP at that time as the Parliament was in session and Congress and other opposition parties tried to hit the BJP on the issues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the parliament had to himself distance his government from the statements and moves of Mufti. However, the differences between  PDP and BJP were sorted out later and the relations seemed cordial till the death of Mufti.

At the local level, Mufti had established a cordial working relationship with a personal touch with BJP ministers and other leaders. That may be also a reason Raina paying tributes to him in Bijbehara. If seen more closely, the visit of Raina can help the BJP in south Kashmir.

There are reports of a number of strong supporters of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed not happy with Mehbooba Mufti since her days as chief minister. They felt ignored. May be Raina's such moves in future can help wooing such ignored supporters towards BJP.

Despite having serious political differences,  Raina also enjoys good relations with former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah.

During a conclave by a media house, Raina referred to his cordial relations with Omar and also said a number of nice things about him including that he is a gem among the political leaders in J&K.

Raina recalled how they (BJP legislators) would stay till late in the assembly to listen to the speeches of Omar as chief minister during budget session and other sessions. A video of Raina's speech was uploaded by a person on twitter with a guess that there could be a backdoor understanding between BJP and NC.

Omar reacted to the video and the guess made by the person. The NC leader tweeted, " Why is politics all about division and hatred? Where does it say that to disagree politically we also have to hate each other personally? I have political opponents, I do not have enemies. I am grateful for Ravinder's kind words and I am glad they won't stop us opposing each other."

True the cordial relations are there but the political leaders do not lose any chance to criticise the policies of rival parties whenever and wherever required.

Political parties here will certainly keep a tab on the BJP's meeting in New Delhi on July 7 and its outcome and would accordingly try to formulate their own strategies.

Author is senior editor Greater Kashmir.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir