The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit has said the party wants to field their candidates from both Anantnag and Srinagar Lok Sabha constituencies where byelections are due. The BJP’s J&K unit distanced itself from ally People’s Democtaic Party’s fresh assertion for dialogue, reaching out to the youth and revocation of AFSPA. 

BJP’s state general secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul on Tuesday told the media that they were not in favor of revocation of AFSPA or talk with separatists. He was seconded by state party president Sat Sharma. Sharma further told this newspaper that the party’s state unit has sent names of probable candidates for the two constituencies to the BJP high command.

The state BJP unit is very angry for the way PDP has handled the recent violence and has been irked by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s statements that advocated talks with Pakistan and repealing the AFSPA.

The BJP high command is yet to stamp the state unit’s view of fighting the byelections independently. Apparently, CM Mufti is annoyed by the BJP’s state unit’s stand and has conveyed to the party’s central leadership that such open opposition will weaken her position in J&K further. A senior PDP leader told this newspaper that the BJP’s decision will not impact their candidates’ prospects. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had got only 1.3% of the votes polled in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, sources in the state BJP unit said that they will also stake claim on all the three seats of the legislative council in the Jammu region.

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