Interviews

BJP for holistic development of J&K as tourism hub

November 12, 2014 03:56 PM
Avinash Khann, in-charge BJP affairs J&K

By Chanchal Manohar Singh

Chandigarh, Nov. 12: The BJP manifesto will emphasis on the holistic development of Jammu and Kashmir, making it a tourism hub state. Even Ladakh and Jammu region will be developed as international tourist regions to generate business and jobs for the youth.
This broad vision of the BJP was shared by Avinash Khanna, Member Parliament and BJP in-chare of Jammu and Kashmir, in an exclusive interview to punjabkhabar.com.

The BJP's spokesman for Kashmir is a noted journalist and columnist Khalid Jehangir and former Punjab DGP PS Gill, who joined the BJP after Prakash Singh Badal ditched him, is the BJP election supervisor in Kashmir Valley. Gill has grassroot-level contacts in the state as he had spent 35 years as an IPS officer of the J&K cadre.The BJP's spokesman for Kashmir is a noted journalist and columnist Khalid Jehangir and former Punjab DGP PS Gill, who joined the BJP after Prakash Singh Badal ditched him, is the BJP election supervisor in Kashmir Valley. Gill has grassroot-level contacts in the state as he had spent 35 years as an IPS officer of the J&K cadre.

The main emphasis will be on tourism development to attract tourist from all over the world. The BJP manifesto, therefore, will also promise change in the name of the state to “Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh” to bring the three regions together for the development of tourism.

But tourism would be possible only if there is peace and stability in the Kashmir valley and people join the movement to promote the region as the 'Switzerland' of India. Militancy and violence scare tourists from all over the world. Many countries have issued advisories to their citizens to avoid visiting J&K. Therefore, the BJP will harp on this aspect of development that would also generate lakhs of jobs for the young generation in all the three regions of the state.

in a reply to a question, Khanna said his party is keeping cool on the issue of abrogation of Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP manifesto is all is set to call for a debate on the issue. Moreover, abrogation of Article 370 concerns the Government of India and the state assembly has nothing to do with it although it effects the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The manifesto states that while the party is in-principle committed to abrogation of Article 370, we will call for a national debate to make people aware of the provision’s harm to Indian sovereignty,”Khanna, who is well entrenched in the politics of the state since he was assigned the responsibility about two years ago, said. The manifesto would be released in a day or so.

The manifesto will also emphasis on giving children citizenship rights born from Kashmiri women married to men who are not residents of the state. Currently, only permanent residents who are issued the State Subject Certificate are entitled to buy land and apply for government jobs in the state. While women continue to be permanent residents of the state even if they marry a non-resident of J&K, but their off-springs lose this right.

Khanna said with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two visits to Kashmir Valley the BJP got a tremendous boost from Kashmiris who find in Modi a person who genuinely wants to improve their lot and living conditions. The party is getting a massive response from local Kashmiris who have shown their keeness to join the BJP. Many have even approached the BJP for tickets to contest the elections. The BJP is no more an untouchable for the Muslims or Kashmiris of the valley. There was a time when the BJP could not get candidates in the valley and had to nominate people who would together get only abpoiut 15000 votes. But with the response the party is now getting from the people, it hopes to win seats in the valley.

The BJP has appointed party presidents and in all the ten districts of Kashmir Valley. Some of the leaders are Muslim.
The BJP's spokesman for Kashmir is a noted journalist and columnist Khalid Jehangir and former Punjab DGP PS Gill, who joined the BJP after Prakash Singh Badal ditched him, is the BJP election supervisor in Kashmir Valley. Gill has grassroot-level contacts in the state as he had spent 35 years as an IPS officer of the J&K cadre.

When people in the valley met Modi during his first visit, Avinash Khanna said on the issue of flood relief distribution, the people requested the prime minister that he should distribute directly to the needy and not the NC-Congress government in the state. This indicated the type of faith Modi has generated among the people of the valley.

The BJP has, therefore, decided to contest all the 87 assemble seats on its own without going for any alliance or seating-sharing with any party, Khanna emphasized. Many Kashmiri Pandits, too, have come forward to contest on the BJP ticket in the Valley.
Khanna said the Jammu region was a BJP strong area where the party would win the maximum seats out of the 37 seats the BJP is contesting. The valley has 46 seats while Ladakh has four.

The BJP, which won three parliamentary seats in the state, all in the Jammu region, also won the Leh seat for the first time in its history. Khanna said the party was hopeful of winning all the four assembly seats in Leh.

However, to strike a balance with its “core ideology” of ending separatism and striking a balance among all three regions of the state, the manifesto may also demand for five-year term for the J&K assembly instead of the present six-year tenure, it is learnt. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India which not only has its own constitution but a six-year tenure of the assembly. The BJP and many others believe this also aids separatism in the state.

Modi will campaign in all the five phases of the polls in the state and address at three rallies daily. Other start campaigners will include Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely, Amit Shah, Arun Jaitely, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, JP Nadda, Kiron Kher, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, former Himachal chief minister PK Dhumal, actress Hema Malini, senior party leader LK Advani and Nitin Gadkari.

 

 

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