Shah to visit J&K on Oct 1, 2; hold rallies at Rajouri, Kupwara

JAMMU : Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be kick starting the BJP’s election campaign for Assembly polls for Jammu and Kashmir during a two-day visit to the Union Territory on October 1 and 2.
Shah will be holding two mammoth public rallies at Rajouri and Kupwara while third rally, scheduled earlier for Doda, hasn’t matured due to shortage of time, BJP insiders told the Excelsior.
Shah is reported to have communicated his schedule of Jammu and Kashmir visit to senior leaders of the party in New Delhi.
As per the schedule, Shah will reach Jammu on October 1 and after grand welcome will leave for Rajouri to address a massive public meeting there to start the party’s campaign for Assembly elections.
As per the BJP leaders, Shah could make an announcement on grant of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Paharis, who have significant population in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
The BJP Government had recently nominated prominent Gujjar leader of the party Ghulam Ali Khatana to the Rajya Sabha.
The BJP planned to cover border districts of Poonch and Rajouri for Shah’s rally as Rajouri is also home district of party’s UT chief Ravinder Raina, who had won last Assembly election from Nowshera in 2014 with a thumping margin.
Moreover, complete peace prevails along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in Rajouri and Poonch districts for past more than one and a half years since the fresh ceasefire agreement between Indo-Pak troops came into effect.
On return from Rajouri, Shah will meet UT office bearers and senior leaders of the party at the party office to discuss political situation and party’s preparations for the Assembly elections.
On October 2, the Union Home Minister will hold another mammoth public rally at Kupwara in Kashmir.
The Kashmir unit of the BJP planned to make it a big rally.
Shah is also likely to hold security review meeting with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and senior officers of all security agencies engaged in anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir especially the Valley where a large number of militants including top commanders and foreigners have been killed this year.
He is expected to return to New Delhi in the evening of October 2.
The rallies will be aimed at giving boost to political activities of the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Home Minister is likely to spend one day each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions during the visit.
Earlier, there were indications that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir might be held in November-December after completion of delimitation of Assembly constituencies in the Union Territory in May.
However, the Special Summary Revision ordered by the Election Commission of India has fixed November 25 as deadline for publication of final electoral rolls. This will virtually give no time for holding polls this year and all hopes are now pinned in the months of April-May next year for conduct of elections.
The Union Home Ministry also has to take call on number of nomination seats for Kashmiri migrants and Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) refugees in the Legislative Assembly as suggested in the Delimitation Commission report.
The Delimitation Commission has recommended nomination of two Kashmiri migrants to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir including one woman. It has also suggested that PoJK refugees could also be nominated to the Assembly but their numbers have not been mentioned. However, Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP has proposed nomination of eight PoJK refugees to the Assembly.
This will be second visit of Amit Shah to Jammu and Kashmir this year. He visited the Union Territory on March 18 and 19 during which he attended Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Raising Day.
He undertook 4-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from October 23-26 last year, which was his first to the Union Territory post abrogation of special status of erstwhile State of J&K on August 5, 2019.