BJP wants to make history by winning the Rajouri-Anantnag parliamentary seat; Raina, Vibodh front runners for the mandate
POONCH TODAY NEWS
POONCH/RAJOURI: A few days ago, the central leadership of the BJP changed many state presidents, and on that basis, many social media platforms in J&K were seen running narratives about Ravinder Raina being replaced, but acting swiftly, Raina, in his social media post, wrote, “Tiger abhi zinda hai”.
That was a clear indication that BJP top brass wanted to give Raina more tenure until the coming Lok Sabha elections. During a recent meeting in New Delhi, party leadership hinted that the saffron brigade is keen to win the Rajouri-Anantnag seat by all means, and for that, a big heavyweight candidate from the Poonch-Rajouri region is likely to get the BJP’s mandate. Among various options, Ravinder Raina and Vibodh Gupta are said to be frontrunners among the various leaders in the party for this seat. Raina, who has carved a niche for himself among the masses with his unique style of functioning, is running ahead along with Vibodh Gupta, who remained an MLC. For decades, voters in South Kashmir never showed their interest in parliamentary elections to a large extent and remained away from the electoral process, mostly on the calls given by the dead Hurriyat leadership. But after the abrogation of temporary articles 370 and 35-A, the BJP is likely to get an edge on this factor and hope that the people of the Poonch-Rajouri region will vote for the BJP. The saffron party did a lot of work for the Gujjar community, and now, before the elections, the BJP is trying hard to please the Pahari people by granting them ST status. If the BJP manages to win paharis by fulfilling their long-pending demand, then it will surely be in a position to win the Rajouri-Anantnag seat comfortably, provided it gets a sufficient number of gujjar votes, because the politics in the entire Poonch-Rajouri range is dominated by the gujjar-pahari issue. Earlier, Dr. Farooq Abdullah was very popular in J&K and at the national level among the masses for his public friendly gestures and blunt statements, and now, Ravinder Raina has become a most popular voice in J&K because of his utmost influence over social media. On the other hand, Vibodh is considered a mature leader, because he was never seen as aggressive politically and stayed away from political gimmicks for managing the public, as Ravinder Raina does. The BJP wants to improve on its previous performance in J&K, and now the party is eyeing winning at least four seats in J&K. Although it is very difficult for the BJP to perform well in the Rajouri-Anantnag seat going by the history of the previous two parliamentary elections in which a large chunk of pahari-gujjar votes went against the BJP, the party leadership is still hopeful that by fulfilling the demands of both gujjars and paharis, the party would be able to create history. It is pertinent to mention here that BJP UT president Ravinder Raina enjoys a good reputation among gujjars and paharis because of his gift of the gab, and the saffron brigade is hopeful that the party will be able to win the Rajouri-Anantnag seat comfortably. It would be interesting to see who will get the final mandate, Vibodh or Raina, as the BJP has started an exercise of discussing the names of various leaders as possible candidates much earlier than other political parties.