Simultaneous elections a possibility in J&K, says Ram Madhav; adds to confusion

Dinesh Manhotra
Tribune News Service
Jammu, February 12

BJP’s national general secretary Ram Madhav said on Tuesday that simultaneous general and assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir was a possibility, adding to the uncertainty that confusing statements from Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have created.

Madhav, BJP’s pointman for the state, said at the beginning of his speech at an event in Jammu: “There are ‘chances’ of assembly elections in J&K along with Lok Sabha polls”.

By the end of his 10-minute speech however, he said “assembly elections in J&K may be held after or before Lok Sabha polls”.

Madhav, who was speaking at the launch of BJP’s ‘Mera Parivar Bajpa Parivar’ programme in Jammu, indicated on January 20 that the BJP’s central leadership was considering simultaneous elections in the state, which was first under Governor’s Rule and is now under President’s Rule after the state government under PDP-BJP coalition collapsed in June last year.

Local leadership of the BJP however remains divided over holding simultaneous elections. Fearing that its former ministers’ performance in the BJP-PDP government could cost the party seats in Lok Sabha elections, a group within state unit has been trying to sway senior leaders away from holding simultaneous elections in the state. 

Madhav said that the BJP must now work towards ensuring the BJP becomes an indispensible kingmaker in the state. “The PDP-BJP coalition government in the state has ensured that the jinx on BJP that it could never be part of a government in the state is lifted. Now, forming a government in the state in the near future without the BJP would be difficult,” he said.

Madhav also took credit for divisional status for Ladakh.

“While in government our former ministers tried their best to address grievances of the people of Ladakh but could not do so due to some compulsions”, he clarified, adding: “In the Governor’s rule long pending demand of the residents of Ladakh has been fulfilled”.

RELATED What after the elections…