Jammu: Over two lakh people will attend the rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Akhnoor, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick-start the BJP's election campaign in the state, party state president Ravinder Raina said Tuesday.
The BJP will retain all three Lok Sabha seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh despite the coming together of "traitors" in the state, Raina asserted. The senior leader said the party would talk to its former minister and Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS) founder Choudhary Lal Singh, who has filed nomination papers from the Jammu parliamentary constituency, for withdrawal of his candidature in the larger interest of the Dogra unity and strengthening of nationalist forces. "The prime minister has accepted our invitation and is addressing the first election rally at Akhnoor in the outskirts of Jammu on March 28. We are confident of winning all the three seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh with bigger margins than the 2014 Lok Sabha polls," Raina told reporters here.
Jammu and Baramulla parliamentary constituencies are going to polls in the first phase on April 11 and have received a record number of 39 nominations. Prominent faces include incumbent BJP MP Jugal Kishore, National Conference-supported Congress candidate Raman Bhalla, Lal Singh and National Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh.
The PDP said it decided against fielding any candidate from the twin seats of Jammu and Udhampur to ensure that the secular votes are not divided. The BJP leader termed the Congress, National Conference and the PDP a "coalition of traitors". He also used a proverb for the parties to allege that thieves stick together: "Chor chor mousere bhai." "They could not see eye to eye in the state assembly, but are now "coming together for a Milawati Gathbandhan (adulterated coalition). It is a 'gadhar' (traitor) coalition," Raina said. "They have come together and are encouraging anti-national forces.
They are frustrated by the strong wave in favour of the BJP but they will face drubbing and even their candidates will lose their deposits," he said. The BJP state president praised the prime minister for developmental works, sanctioning of new projects and launching various schemes for the upliftment of border residents and the poor, and said, "the BJP leadership undertook dozens of rallies across the length and breadth of the state and are satisfied with the response of the people". "The anti-national forces and Pakistan-praisers are coming together and the time has come for nationalist forces to also join hands and work unitedly," Raina said, adding, "if in Kashmir, the parties speaking for terrorists, separatists and Pakistan can come together, why not in Jammu? We have to keep Jammu united for the Dogra identity and unity."