BJP’s expanding footprint in Kashmir Valley: Party to move to a bigger office

Srinagar Mar 12: A non-entity in Kashmir politics not a long ago, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), the coalition partner of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is now in the process of expanding its political and physical footprint in the Valley. As part of one more step in this direction, the party is all set to inaugurate its new office in the uptown area of Srinagar in near future.

The building spread over one and a half Kanals of land, with eight rooms and two halls have been purchased in Peerbagh area, near Jammu and Kashmir police headquarters. The party has purchased the property for one and a half crore rupees.

“The documentation has been completed. We have taken the possession of the building,” BJP, general secretary (Organization), Ashok Koul said.

Sources in the BJP said that the office will be inaugurated by some top party functionary in near future. “Since senior leaders were busy with the elections, so the inauguration was delayed,” a senior BJP leader said.

Sources said that the party leaders and activists fanned across Srinagar to buy land for the office, but Peerbagh was chosen as the appropriate place “for security reasons and for being close to Srinagar International Airport”.

The BJP’s last electoral outing in Kashmir in 2014 Assembly election did not go well. Even though the party got RSS’ Muslim Rashtriya Manch and the Jama’at Ulema-e-Hind to mobilize support for it and even tried to curry favor with the local clergy, it failed to win a seat. The effort, however, did yield the party its highest vote share ever in the Valley – a mere 2.2%. However, BJP spokesman Arun Gupta said that they are making every effort to strengthen the party in Kashmir. “We have now bases in every district of Kashmir,” he said. “Besides, the BJP has district presidents and other functionaries in every nook and corner of the valley”.