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Are Paharis and Gujjars in J&K not unswerving for the BJP directly? Triangular contest  likely after rescheduling of poll date – Poonch Today
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Are Paharis and Gujjars in J&K not unswerving for the BJP directly? Triangular contest  likely after rescheduling of poll date


Are Paharis and Gujjars in J&K not unswerving for the BJP directly? Triangular contest  likely after rescheduling of poll date

Are Paharis and Gujjars in J&K not unswerving for the BJP directly? Triangular contest  likely after rescheduling of poll date


POONCH: Eyeing the formation of the first ever government in J&K after assembly elections are held, the BJP tried its best to attract Pahari voters by promising them ST status.

On this issue, Paharis promised full support to the BJP, but when the ST status was granted and Paharis were upbeat to stand with the BJP in the ongoing parliamentary elections, the BJP decided to stay away directly from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat in addition to two seats in the valley. Before granting ST status to the Pahari ethnic tribe, the BJP solved many issues in the Gujjar community that had been pending for years. Despite being fully aware of the fact that a huge chunk of Gujjar voters always stood against the BJP, especially during the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections, the BJP tried to please the community with open hearts. The BJP president of J&K UT, Ravinder Raina, did a lot to win the hearts and minds of the people of both communities (Paharis and Gujjars), and his way of working has won many people. Before the issuing of notifications in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, Paharis and a chunk of Gujjars were seen saying that they would vote for Ravinder Raina. Political pundits were also of the view that the BJP has a strong chance of winning the Anantnag-Rajouri seat. A serving IAS from Rajouri-Poonch was also among the probable candidates for the BJP in this seat. The high profile IAS officer, who has served in both regions on important postings, was also a strong contender for the BJP, but what forced the BJP not to contest for this seat shocked everybody. For months, several BJP leaders were seen making huge statements that Paharis have a big role in J&K politics, and one day, J&K may get its Pahari CM. Many statements about giving political empowerment to the Poonch and Rajouri regions have come from many BJP leaders, thereby giving hope to the already neglected Poonch-Rajouri region that they will have a big say in the democratic setup, both at the UT and national level. But after the BJP decided to stay away from this high-profile seat and later decided to support the Apni party candidate, those statements that were given by some BJP leaders that the BJP would win this seat show that those were fabricated statements aimed at misleading the people of Poonch and Rajouri. On the other hand, political pundits believe that Paharis and Gujjars in J&K seem to be unreliable for the BJP, as the BJP leaders were sure that a large chunk of Paharis and Gujjars would not vote for the saffron brigade directly. This could be the reason that the saffron brigade decided to stay away from this seat.  Many Pahari people and some leaders were also seen saying that they would vote for the BJP only once if it granted them ST status. So such controversial statements coming from the Pahari ethnic tribe were a clear indication that the BJP would not get all Pahari votes, and this could be, among other reasons, why the BJP decided to stay away from parliamentary elections on three Kashmir seats, especially in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat. There are also reports that the BJP wants to reserve the Pahari voters for assembly elections. This decision of the BJP to stay away from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat is being analyzed from all angles by the political pundits. Was the decision right going by the statements of a former NC minister from Surankote and a former PDP MLC from Mendhar about supporting the PDP? Had the BJP leaders detected the inner frame of mind of some Pahari people and leaders in advance before taking the decision to stay away? If such reports are true, then it’s cause for concern for the Paharis and Gujjars that they have not won the trust of BJP leaders. Although, before the nomination, there were clear indications that a large chunk of Gujjars would vote for the NC while others would vote for the PDP and BJP candidates, a huge section of Paharis was seen standing with the BJP candidate, but the decision of the BJP shocked everybody, and now, the voter’s enthusiasm is not high.  If the reports about the trustworthy concern raised by BJP leaders about the Paharis and Gujjars are true, then in the next assembly elections, Paharis have to prove the concern of the BJP wrong by supporting the BJP candidates; otherwise, it will be written in history books that Paharis, despite getting ST status, and Gujjars, after getting their maximum issues resolved, failed to pay back the BJP in the same coin, and it will bring in the concept of faithful and unfaithful in the politics of Poonch and Rajouri districts. However, people are analyzing this decision of the BJP from their own angles, but one thing has shown that the staying away of the BJP directly in this Anantnag-Rajouri seat has decreased the morale of the nationalist-minded voters. The BJP must understand that the people of Poonch and Rajouri districts are faithful and need strong political empowerment, so the saffron brigade should not ignore this fact anymore, said locals. Meanwhile, the latest decision of the Election Commission of India to reschedule the poll from May 7th to May 25th (6th phase) for the Anantnag-Rajouri seat is going to change the political permutations and combinations. Before this announcement, PDP and NC candidates were considered powerful enough to win the seat, and now, with the rescheduling of the polls to May 25, a third candidate from the Apni party likely to be supported by the BJP and its other backdoor constituents has turned the event into a triangular one. The sudden twist of events shows that the BJP has decided to strengthen all NDA resources in J&K and Leh, and if the BJP succeeds in its mission, the NDA may get 3 to 5 seats out of six seats. After getting more days in its kitty, the BJP is also likely to woo the Pahari voters who were confused earlier. It is interesting to see in which way the winds blow for the BJP, as party president of J&K BJP unit Ravinder Raina is likely to play a big role in this seat. In two other seats of the valley, the BJP is all set to go hard to support its constituents, and because of that, big surprises on June 4 cannot be ruled out.


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