BJP adds 23,000 new members from Kashmir Valley, plans confidence-building measures: Report

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The addition of new members is a 25 percent increase for the BJP in the Valley

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has added over 23,000 new members from the Kashmir Valley during a membership drive that ended on August 20, the Economic Times has reported.

The party registered over 3,50,174 new members in the entire state through online enrolment while the overall figure is expected to cross 7 lakh people in offline enrolments, conducted in places where mobile connectivity is weak, according to the report.

“The figure of 23,000 is for Baramullah, Srinagar and Anantnag districts,” Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP’s election in-charge for J&K, told the newspaper. Before the membership drive was launched, the BJP had claimed that it had around one lakh members in the Valley while there were more than 5 lakh members in the entire state.

The addition of new members, the report states, is a 25 percent increase for the BJP in the Valley.

The development comes at a time when the Valley has been put under a massive security blanket following the Centre’s decision to revoke provisions of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Additionally, the Parliament had also passed a Bill bifurcating J&K and Ladakh into two separate Union Territories (UTs).

According to the report, now that the membership drive has been concluded successfully, the party plans on carrying out confidence-building measures in J&K. The report states that the party cadre will highlight the benefits of various central schemes, such as Ujjwala Yojana and construction of toilets under the Swachh Bharat mission.

“In the last local bodies polls, 1,200 BJP candidates won Sarpanch posts in the Valley. We have 100 corporators too in the region. Welfare funds are now going directly to them,” Khanna said. The report states that it might take some time for elections to be conducted in the state.

While the law to make the region a UT will come into effect on October 31, it might take much longer for the situation to turn conducive for elections, according to the report.

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