Will Win 50 Seats, Form J&K Govt With Own CM: Koul
Srinagar- Stating that the exit of veteran leader Ghulam Nabi Azad from Congress party will help Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu region in the upcoming elections, senior leader Ashok Koul maintained that the saffron party will form the government with its own Chief Minister in Union Territory.
73-year-old Azad ended his five-decade long association last month with the Congress party to float his own Democratic Azad Party (DAP) in Jammu and Kashmir. Since his exit, the former J&K Chief Minister has received considerable support from over two dozen former ministers and legislators of Congress, including former deputy chief minister Tara Chand.
In an exclusive chat with Kashmir Observer, Koul explained that Azad’s resignation has split the grand old party in the Jammu region much to the electoral advantage of the BJP.
“His (Azad’s) exit is a good thing for BJP,” Koul said, adding that his party will win over 50 seats to form the next government with its own chief minister in J&K.
When asked that Congress didn’t do well in last elections and there are other regional parties including NC and PDP in the poll fray, Koul said, “They (regional parties) won’t matter for BJP. We are ready to fight any opponent,”
When asked if Azad as CM would be acceptable to BJP, the senior BJP leader said it will be decided once the elections are conducted.
“The numbers will decide who will become the CM of J&K,” he added.
He further maintained that BJP won’t prefer any pre-poll alliance as the party is very strong in the UT and will field candidates on all the seats.
Koul, who is the General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir BJP told Kashmir Observer that the elections are likely to be conducted in March-April next year after the publication of final electrical roll on November 25 this year.
“The electoral process will be completed in the month of December this year. Once the final voter list is out, the Election Commission of India will take a call for conducting polls in J&K.” Koul added.
When asked about the poll strategy for the Kashmir valley, Koul said the rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah will explain it all.
“The rally will tell the world that BJP won the hearts of Kashmiris,” he added.
He further explained that tourism in the Valley is back and people are getting a lot of benefits.
“Be it Shikarawala, Autowala, Paper Machie artists or anyone who is associated with tourism, they are happy because the tourists from all over the country are visiting Kashmir,” Koul added.
It may be noted, Shah is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir to address two mega rallies in Rajouri of Jammu region and Baramulla district of North Kashmir.
Pertinently, in May 2022, the Delimitation Commission formed by the Central Government recommended seven additional constituencies — six for Jammu and one for Kashmir — taking the total number of seats in the UT to 90 from 83 earlier.
The commission increased the number of seats in the Jammu Division to 43 from 37 seats earlier, and that in the Kashmir Valley to 47 from 46 earlier.
In 2014, BJP had won 25 assembly seats from Jammu, when the region had 37 assembly constituencies.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.