With an eye on the areas dominated by Pahari and Gujjar in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Amit Shah will address public meetings in Rajouri and Baramulla during his visit on October 1-2.
Announcing this here on Sunday, BJP’s J&K unit in-charge Tarun Chugh said that Union Minister Shah, who is coming on three-day long tour of the Valley, will address a rally in Rajouri on October 1 and then on October 2 at north Kashmir’s Baramulla.
These two places are along the Line of Control (LOC) and are dominated by Gujjar and Pahari speaking people who play a significant role in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in J&K. BJP is focusing on these two communities that have in the past sided with the National Conference and the PDP.
People from Poonch, Surankot, Budhal, Darhal, Kalakot, Sunderbani and other places will participate. Similarly, the people from Kupwara and Bandipura districts will also participate in the rally in Baramulla of Kashmir. Shah’s rallies are being seen as the beginning of BJP’s election campaign.
He has chosen to address the two rallies in places along the LOC where peace has prevailed for the past one year following renewal of ceasefire between the Armies of India and Pakistan. Innocent civilian killings in unprovoked shelling by Pakistani troops in the LOC areas were a daily affair prior to enforcement of ceasefire.
The BJP has also taken several steps to placate the Pahari speaking people in Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipura districts. The party has indicated that Scheduled Tribe status might be granted to the Pahari speaking people who have a significant population in these districts. The Gujjar community already enjoys the ST status.
The BJP government has constituted a commission to suggest ways and means for the upliftment of the socially and educationally backward sections of the UT.
As the Delimitation Commission has already submitted its report and revision of electoral rolls is on, the decks are being cleared for assembly elections in the UT where political parties are demanding restoration of statehood before holding the assembly elections.
Before concluding his second visit to J&K this year, Shah will review the security scenario in Kashmir in a high level meeting with top brass of the Army, CRPF, BSF, SSB, CISF, J&K Police, central and state intelligence agencies.