Shah tells BJP MLAS to raise aam aadmi is­sues

BJP chief takes pot shots at Con­gress

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Ravi Kr­ish­nan Kha­juria

Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) pres­i­dent Amit Shah on Sat­ur­day ex­pressed con­cern over the pre­vail­ing sit­u­a­tion across the Val­ley and asked leg­is­la­tors to reach out to the peo­ple of Kash­mir and Ladakh re­gions to ad­dress their is­sues.

Amit Shah landed in the Jammu at 10.30 am on Sat­ur­day for a two day visit.

BJP MLA from Now­shera as­sem­bly con­stituency Ravin­der Raina told re­porters out­side Jammu Con­ven­tion Cen­tre here that the sit­u­a­tion came un­der dis­cus­sion and sug­ges­tions were put forth by the party’s min­is­ters and leg­is­la­tors.

“Party pres­i­dent asked min­is­ters and leg­is­la­tors not to re­main con­fined to their con­stituen­cies and move out to Kash­mir and Ladakh re­gions to ad­dress is­sues of the peo­ple,” Raina said.

Raina, how­ever, elab­o­rated that the na­tional pres­i­dent has set off on a 95-day “Vis­taar Ya­tra” (tour) of var­i­ous states from the tem­ple city to ex­pand BJP’S graph across the coun­try and im­prove its tally in 2019 and 2024 gen­eral elec­tions.

J&K in-charge Av­inash Rai Khanna said Shah also dis­cussed BJP’S ex­pan­sion in the state. “He also ex­pressed con­cern over pre­vail­ing un­rest in Kash­mir and said that Cen­tre in tan­dem with coali­tion gov­ern­ment has ini­ti­ated steps to re­store peace in the strife-torn Val­ley,” said another party leader.

BJP, de­spite fo­cus­ing hard on Kash­mir in 2014 as­sem­bly polls, had slot­ted 25 seats from Jammu re­gion and none from Kash­mir.

Shah, while ad­dress­ing a gath­er­ing of in­tel­lec­tu­als and prom­i­nent cit­i­zens in the evening, also fired salvos at the archri­val Con­gress.

“BJP alone can work in coun­try’s in­ter­ests. I joined BJP as a mem­ber in 1982 with­out any po­lit­i­cal back­ground and rose to the post of party pres­i­dent. Can any­one tell that who is go­ing to be the next pres­i­dent of BJP after my ten­ure? In this jam-packed hall, can any­one tell who will be­come BJP’S pres­i­dent next? But in Con­gress, any­one can tell,” he said.

He added that in 1,650 par­ties in India, only BJP and the CPI have up­held in­ter­nal democ­racy. “It (Con­gress) was a mass move­ment at the time of in­de­pen­dence but it got limited to a fam­ily af­ter­wards, and even other par­ties who got sep­a­rated from Con­gress were due to its fam­ily pol­i­tics,” he said.

Another BJP leader said that the BJP pres­i­dent also asked them reach out to all the stake­hold­ers ex­cept sep­a­ratists and se­ces­sion­ists and dis­cuss ways and means to bring the sit­u­a­tion in the Val­ley back to nor­mal.

On April 30, the BJP pres­i­dent will meet lead­ers of dif­fer­ent wings of the party at BJP’S Trikuta Na­gar of­fice.

NITIN KANOTRA/HT PHOTO

BJP sup­port­ers dur­ing a rally in Jammu on Sat­ur­day.

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