Amit Shah to Visit Srinagar Today

Srinagar: Home Minister Amit Shah will arrive here early Thursday morning for a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir during which he will hold threadbare discussions with the BJP workers, leaders of like-minded parties, and delegations representing various walks of life.

Though the BJP is not contesting on any of the three Kashmir Valley Lok Sabha seats, it has been campaigning vigorously for the candidates of the J&K Apni Party in Anantnag - Rajouri and Srinagar constituencies, and J&K People's Conference chairman Sajad Ahmed Lone who is seeking election on the Baramulla seat under a tacit agreement with these parties.

Mr. Shah had while addressing an election rally at Paloura in Jammu on April 16 said that the BJP was not in a hurry to see 'lotus bloom' in the Valley, implying it was not fielding any candidates for the Valley Lok Sabha seats. He had said, "We are not going to conquer Kashmir as is being projected by our adversaries. We want to win every heart of Kashmir".

He had, however, appealed to people to vote against National Conference, PDP, and Congress on the seats where BJP is not contesting.

Srinagar went to the polls on May 13 whereas the voting will take place in Baramulla and Anantnag -Rajouri constituencies on May 20 and 25, respectively. On the lone Ladakh seat where BJP has fielded Tashi Gyalson, the incumbent Chief Councillor of the Ladakh Hill Development Council (Leh), polling is scheduled to be held in the fifth phase of elections on May 20.

BJP is also contesting on the Udhampur and Jammu- two other Lok Sabha seats in J&K - for which polling was held in the first and second phase of the seven-season elections.

The official sources here said that the Home Minister will also hold meetings with the J&K government functionaries and the security top-brass during his visit.

Mr. Shah's visit comes days after three civilians and a police official were killed and scores of people injured in clashes in Pakistan-occupied-Jammu and Kashmir (PoK) during unrest over high prices of wheat flour and inflated electricity bills.

Mr. Shah while speaking at an election rally at Howrah in West Bengal on Tuesday reiterated BJP's commitment to reclaim PoK. He said, "Isn't Pak-occupied Kashmir ours? Mani Shankar Aiyar and Farooq Abdullah used to scare us by saying that Pakistan has an atom bomb so we should not speak about Pak-occupied Kashmir. Rahul baba, Mamata didi, no matter how scared you are, Pak-occupied Kashmir is ours and we will take it back."

The PoK's Awami (People's) Action Committee -AAC- has called off the agitation it was spearheading after the government in Muzaffarabad accepted its all demands. Islamabad dolled out a Rs 23 billion power and wheat subsidy to placate the violent protests, the events that unfolded across the Line of Control following the AAC issued a call for a long march on Muzaffarabad on May 11 are likely to come up for discussion on some of the meetings the Home Minister will be holding here.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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