BJP sets up cell to reach out to Kashmiris

For the first time in the BJP’s organisaional history, its Jammu and Kashmir unit has constituted a “sampark vibhag” in Kashmir to reach out to intellectuals and prominent people from different sections of the society, explaining them the difference between the “pre-August 5” and “post-August 5” Kashmir.

The Narendra Modi government had moved a bill on nullifying the contentious Article 370 — which gave a special status to the state — on August 5 in Parliament, which was passed a day later. The newly constituted unit has been tasked to meet prominent people from various fields to seek their opinion on abrogation of Article 370 and explain it to them how its nullification means development of the region.

Kashmir was considered as a “no go zone” for the BJP due to its “ideological differences” with the majority population of the region and till 2014, the saffron party had a minimal presence in the Valley. Perceived are “impermissible” in the region till couple of years back, the BJP has not only increased its organisatonal strength in the Valley since 2014, but also managed to enroll locals in the organisational unit, including from areas considered as separatists stronghold.

Other than explaining the real reason why the Article 370 was abrogated and how it had only kept the development out from the region, the “sampark vibhag” also seeks views and opinions of the people they meet on whether or not they feel that the region is witnessing changes.

“Some times there are arguments and counter arguments on Article 370 but when we ask how the Article has helped the state or its people, there are no answers to it. Many then have to agree that the Article was a hindrance to development,” said the BJP strategist.

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