July 2018 News

Strife Grows Within BJP, In Jammu As Well As Ladakh

22 July 2018
Kashmir Reader
Junaid Nabi Bazaz

Srinagar: After giving divorce to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing growing internal strife, both in Jammu and Ladakh regions. Party leaders from Kargil and Ladakh regions have resigned, and Jammu's Chowdry Lal Singh, who was a cabinet minister in the BJP-PDP coalition government, has floated his own 'apolitical' outfit - the Dogra Swabhimaan Sanganthan - though its agenda is very much political in nature. Singh, who was removed as minister after taking a stand in favour of the Kautha rape-and-murder accused, on Sunday announced the formation of his own organisation which would work for a rotational system of chief ministers, one from Jammu and one from Kashmir, two deputy chief ministers, action in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir, welfare of refugees, and equal employment opportunities, among a 21-point programme. 'I meet people and hold conversations with them to understand how to give them effective representation. We follow the people's sentiment,' Singh told Kashmir Reader. Ashok Kaul, J&K general secretary of the BJP, told Kashmir Reader that the party is monitoring Singh's moves, and will soon write to the higher command about them. 'Whatever decision they (high command) will take, it will be executed,' Kaul said and added that Singh's activism won't hurt the party. 'Though he is a leader with stature, he cannot damage the party (BJP),' Kaul said. Singh's political adventures are not new. He was with the Congress before he switched to the BJP. He joined the BJP just before the 2014 elections that the BJP swept in Jammu region. It was the first time that the BJP became the second-largest party, with 25 legislators, in Jammu & Kashmir legislative assembly. Leh and Kargil, the regions that the BJP says were discriminated against by the Mehbooba Mufti government, have become rebellious, too. On Saturday, 25 BJP members resigned from the party, including the party's vice president, spokesperson and general secretary for Kargil. BJP's Kargil spokesperson Subhan Jaffery led the herd. Earlier, BJP's Leh chief, Tsewang Gonbo, resigned from the post of district president Leh. He cited 'non-cooperation attitude of leaders serving on key as well as high positions' for his decision. Kaul, however, said the resignations were a minor problem. He said that Subhan Jaffrey was a non-entity with no political acumen, who just wanted to be declared the party's state president. 'These moves won't trouble the party. They are minor issues,' Kaul said.