In face of terror threats and a boycott call, over 850 candidates have applied for BJP ticket in the urban local bodies elections in the Kashmir valley. Not only men, even a good number of women have also expressed their desire to contest the poll on the saffron party’s ticket.
“There are names of 860 candidates in the panels of the ticket aspirants prepared by the district committees of the Valley for the civic poll,” said Narendra Singh, BJP general secretary and Kashmir unit in-charge, adding that the party had finalised the candidates after a proper scrutiny of the aspirants.
Encouraged over the “unexpected” response of the party workers, Narendra Singh claimed the BJP would create a history in Kashmir this time.
“The party high command has already directed the state leadership to contest the elections seriously to create space for the BJP in the Valley,” he said, adding that the party had sought adequate security for the candidates.
The BJP has suffered a severe setback after the militants started selective killings of party’s ‘vistaraks’ who are working to spread the saffron party’s footprints in the Valley. Two prominent party leaders — Gowhar Bhat and Shabir Ahmed Bhat — were killed by militants recently in south Kashmir.
The BJP is likely to leave urban local bodies of north Kashmir for its coalition partner — Peoples Conference — as part of its undeclared seat arrangement.
Meanwhile, the party has finalised the names of its candidates for all 79 civic bodies of the state and a formal announcement in this regard will be made on Wednesday evening after a meeting of the election committee of the party.
“During a two-day hectic exercise, the screening committee has finalised the candidates for the elections. After the formal approval of the election committee, the names will be made public,” said a senior party leader, who is a member of the screening committee.
79 municipal bodies
- Of the 79 urban local bodies in the state, 40 civic bodies are in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu province and two are in Ladakh
- Of the 1,145 wards of the urban local bodies, 598 are in the Valley, 521 in Jammu province and 26 in the Ladakh region