‘We have come up with a development model which is universal’.


Srinagar: The AAP has seen a big rise in online membership in Jammu and Kashmir as the party is focusing to capitalise on its win in Punjab and expand into the border Union territory. In Jammu, AAP has already seen its online membership reaching 2.5 lakh and in Kashmir, the party has been able to lure 1 lakh members which according to political observers are progressive numbers and challenging to other parties in the state. The party is preparing to contest all the 90 seats.
A senior journalist who has seen political developments in Kashmir from close quarters said, there is a political vacuum in Kashmir and people have lost trust in all the parties. The Kashmir region which has 47 seats contrasts starkly from other states of India as people in the state view previous regimes a puppets of the Centre and thus experts believe that with AAP emerging anew in the Union territory after Punjab win and putting out power, education and healthcare plank on the table, the party crossing the magical line on 45 seats in the 90 Assembly seats cannot be ruled out.
Experts further believe the political sentiments among people in Punjab are bound to spill in the border-linked Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The party has also hammered out a strategy of targeting people in the state who have been spectators to the elections which the party calls non-voters. Dr Nawab Nasir, state general secretary of AAP in Jammu and Kashmir, said, “There are many seats in Kashmir where the polling culminates into very few voters going to booths; if we provide the data, 2.7% was the vote share Farooq Abdullah won with when he became MP, that means 97% people do not like him, we will request those people who haven’t voted, they don’t vote not because they are separated from Delhi, but because they don’t have any expectations from any party.”
In the process, the party is also keeping its national image of the “anti-corruption party” buoyant by not taking in leaders in the party who have had corrupt pasts. Party leaders believe the same model implemented in Punjab where 72 fresh faces won Assembly seats will be applied to Jammu and Kashmir. A source privy to the developments in the party said, “The party has rejected resumes of 18 former cabinet ministers J&K because of their lack of clean image.”
AAP leaders believe Kejriwal has acceptance among the people in J&K. Nasir added, “It is just a matter of candidates that we have to put out as the tsunami that has come in Punjab will also come in Kashmir. We are a newly emerging party and talking about the delimitation, it doesn’t matter to us; we have come up with a development model which is universal. Our development model is inclusive whether it is on that side of the borderline or on this side.”