In a bid to counter the regional parties in the valley, the BJP has shed its saffron colour and adopted in its advertisements the green that is generally associated with Islam.
The move has triggered a controversy with various political parties and leading politicians accusing the BJP of “double standards” to exploit religious sentiments of the Muslims.
The controversy began when the BJP candidate for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat Khalid Jehangir’s poll advertisement in newspapers had the green colour instead of BJP’s saffron.
The advertisement also carried a picture of Prime Minister Narendera Modi with slogans of development below his photo.
Other political parties, including the PDP and certain other hardline candidates, were using green colour in their election publicity material. PDP’s official flag has the green colour.
The first to point out the BJP’s changed election strategy in Kashmir was Haseeb Drabu, who was finance minister in the PDP-BJP government.
In a satirical manner, Drabu tweeted: “In Kashmir, the colours are changing and how! Such are the political colours of elections. How saffron has been greened! Or is it the PDP has left an indelible mark on the BJP palette?”
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, too, jumped in to tweet: “The saffron of the BJP turns green when it reaches Kashmir. I’m not sure whether the party truly believes it can fool voters when it makes a fool of itself like this. Why can’t they show their true colours while campaigning in the valley?”
Omar’s father, Dr.Farooq Abdullah, is the National Conference candidate in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
Reacting to Omar’s tweet, Jehangir tweeted: “Sir, Rang Chodo, Insaan Dekho, Aap ke Khalid, wish me luck. Thank you. Allah bless you! (Leave the colour, look at the human being. I am your Khalid….).”
The BJP’s poll advertisement in green colour has become a point of discussion in the valley with people attributing various motives and political ambition of the party. It is being alleged that the BJP officially uses saffron colour on its flag and advertisements, but in Kashmir they have shed it and adopted green in a bid to “grab” some votes.