BJP likely to have a Muslim CM candidate

The rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP’s) high command is likely to nominate a Muslim from the Valley as their chief ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections, scheduled to be held later this year.
“Many people have come forward to join BJP in the Valley. The increasing number of people joining the party is an indication of BJP’s growing acceptability in Kashmir. We all are pressing that party’s chief ministerial candidate should be from the Valley,” said state BJP leader Fayaz Ahmad Bhat.
Sources from state BJP said senior party leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are of the opinion that a Muslim face should represent the party in the state.
“The party wants to take Muslims in confidence. National leadership has opined that a Muslim from Kashmir should represent the party in this state,” they said adding party is yet to decide who would be that face.
There are speculations that former IGP Farooq Khan, who joined the party before Lok Sabha polls, might be the front-runner for CM’s post.
Sources in BJP said party high command is exploring all options as lot of new faces has joined the party.
After winning Jammu-Poonch, Udhampur-Doda and Leh-Ladakh parliamentary seat and taking lead in 29 Assembly segments during the recently held Lok Sabha polls in the state, BJP is trying hard to strengthen its base in the Valley.
“To strengthen the base in the Valley, the party has no option but to bring more number of Muslims from the valley in the party and have a Muslim as chief ministerial candidate, which would take away communal tag from the BJP,” BJP sources said.
BJP has 11 seats in the 87-member state Assembly.
After recording stupendous victory in the LS polls, BJP launched Mission 44+ to win Assembly polls in the State and form its own government.

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