BJP chooses old guard over new entrants; BJP PDP combine expecting nine of eleven legislative council seats

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The BJP has now chosen the dedicated old guard over the new entrants while selecting candidates for the legislative council elections. However, some central leaders have made futile efforts to get some new comers adjusted in the council but BJP top brass, moving extra cautiously and attentively after its massive defeat in the Delhi Elections gave a nod to the choices of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Seven separate elections are to be held for the 11 legislative council seats. One MLA has to cast seven votes and clearly the unspoken alliance of PDP and BJP is expecting as many as nine seats. Jammu province has four seats and PDP BJP together are expecting three. For the two seats in the Kashmir valley, the PDP BJP combine is counting on one seat but if they manage to win over the Independents who voted for Azad, the two parties can win both the seats. The remaining three seats include two from Kashmir and one from Jammu and reportedly the PDP BJP combine is in a comfortable position for these three.

Ramesh Arora and Vivodh Gupta of Rajouri, two hardcore RSS men have been nominated for the Legislative Council Elections. The polling for that will be held on March 2. Chering Dorjay, Sofi Yousuf and Charanjeet Singh Khalsa for Leh, Kashmir province and Jammu respectively have also been finalized.

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In the unspoken alliance of BJP and PDP, the former will field candidates for five seats and the latter will go for the remaining six seats. BJP sources however, have reported that the party gave importance to the RSS selection to avoid any confrontation with the Sangh Parivar in terms of finalizing the candidates. Ramesh Arora’s selection indicates that the party has decided to prefer the old guard.

Arora has worked with different organizations of the Sangh Parivar before formally joining the BJP. He is the vice-president of the BJP and is a former RSS parcharak. Vivodh Gupta is also a hardcore RSS man of Rajouri. Gupta had withdrawn his candidature in the recent Assembly Elections in favour of Choudhary Talib Hussain for the Rajouri seat. The third candidate Charanjeet Singh Khalsa had worked with the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar when he was in charge of the J&K BJP. Khalsa had contested the 2002 Assembly Elections from Gandhi Nagar constituency.

In Kashmir valley, the party has again given priority to the veteran leader Sofi Yosuf instead of new entrants. Yosuf has been associated with the party for long. The party has chosen Chering Dorjay from the Leh seat who also contested in the recent Assembly Elections against Congress leader Nawang Rigzin Jora.