• In Srinagar rally, Modi to advertise jobs opportunities
• Development not dialogue on agenda
Srinagar, Dec 04: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is slated to address a rally in Srinagar on December 8, would reach out to Kashmiri youth with his slogan of job opportunities and development, senior functionaries of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) said Thursday.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, BJP’s Vice President and national general secretary, Ram Madhav said development had remained prime minister’s focus even when he visited the State earlier.
“He has been talking about these issues even when he visited Poonch, Udhampur, Ladakh and other places,” Madhav said. “The PM has laid stress on development, harnessing tourism potential of the State, developing educational infrastructure, developing Srinagar and Jammu into smart cities.”
Madhav said Modi’s focus was more on employment opportunities for youth and development of the State.
“Only six months into prime ministership, this would be his (Modi) fourth visit to the State, once after the floods, once on Diwali, once to Ladakh in addition to two visits for election campaigning,” said Madhav, the author of two books ‘Uneasy Neighbours: India and China after Fifty Years of the War’ written in English language and ‘Hydrabad Hatyalu-Nijam Cheppaleni Netalu’ written in Telegue language.
Madhav said this shows how much importance Modi was attaching to the State.
The BJP functionaries said though Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was in place, Modi was likely to make vague references to the Government of India plans it intends to execute in Jammu and Kashmir in order to make the lives of youth, who are craving for jobs, better.
The senior BJP functionaries said Modi was showing keen interest in Jammu and Kashmir and was the first PM who was visiting the State for the sixth time in such a short duration.
They said the prime minister had understood the problems of Kashmir and wanted further to understand the intricacies of the problem of unrest among Kashmiri youth.
The BJP functionaries said that Modi had spent a long time of his youth in Jammu and Kashmir as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Prabari.
Modi was the party’s incharge for Jammu and Kashmir in 1990s.
He accompanied the then BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi while unfurling the tricolor at Lal Chowk’s Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) in the heart of Srinagar on 26 January 1992 when bullets were flying around everywhere in Kashmir.
The senior BJP functionaries said ahead of his visit, Modi had sent a number of teams to J&K over the past month for seeing on the ground what the problem among the Kashmiri youth was.
They said Modi wanted to make Government of India’s schemes like Udaan and Himayat really beneficial to the Kashmiri youth.
“He is going to announce something novel to attract Kashmiri youth toward jobs,” the BJP functionaries said.
Senior BJP leaders like the Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting, Arun Jaitley, BJP vice president and national general secretary Ram Madhav, BJP’s J&K Incharge Avinash Rai Khanna and other senior BJP functionaries including Tarun Chugh, Charanjeet Singh Khalsa, Ashok Koul, Ramesh Arora, visited the State in a prelude to Modi’s visit while Arun Gupta, has been camping in Kashmir as the party’s media head for Jammu and Kashmir.
One functionary said he was elated with the response youth in Kashmir had shown to the party with hundreds thronging to their party office with feedback on how development had gone awry in Jammu and Kashmir and how they were fed up with the existing system.
They said the party was receiving encouraging response from the people in Kashmir and the prime minister’s plank would be to address the aspirations of the youth and avoid touching the sensitive issues like Article 370 and issues that other political parties were raising.
The BJP functionaries said Modi was not actually attacking Abdullahs and Muftis in his advertisement campaign.
“He is not attacking them as persons but the system they have made of corruption, incompetence and nepotism,” one BJP functionary said. “This is the reason why the prime minister wants to involve youth to nip the evil in the bud.”
Another BJP senior leader who is associated with the arrangements of PM’s visit to Kashmir said the party was expecting a gathering of nearly 1 lakh people.
“It will be one of the historic rallies,” he said.
Eleven years ago, when the former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee addressed a gathering at the same venue – Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium – where Modi is scheduled to speak in Srinagar, around 30,000 people attended the rally.
At that time, Vajpayee had surprised all political analysts by extending a hand of friendship to Pakistan from Kashmir’s soil on 18 April 2003.
However, senior BJP functionaries said unlike Vajpayee, Modi would focus his speech on Kashmiris not Pakistan.
“He will announce certain things which would be good for Kashmiris,” one of the BJP functionaries said. “Modiji’s initiative will be on Kashmir and only Kashmir.”
BJP spokesman, Khalid Jehangir, said the prime minister’s rally was not a rally for BJP only but for all Kashmiris.
“Modiji is not only the PM of India but also a towering leader and whosoever wants to hear the golden words of Modi is welcome,” he said. “He has a fan following among all the cross sections of the society and is a leader of all.”
Jehangir said in his address, Modi would play “magical tunes” for Kashmiris.
BJP’s candidate for Amira Kadal assembly constituency, Hina Bhat said Modi had been visiting the State frequently after the floods hit Kashmir valley in the first week of September.
“Modiji has been frequently sending his ministers to Kashmir since floods hit Kashmir and now they are coming for the encouragement of candidates,” she said. “It is Kashmir’s luck that the ministers in New Delhi are leaving their chairs and visiting the state and meeting people for the development of Kashmir.”
Hina said Modi was most intelligent politician and did not need any feedback from any leader.
“Modiji has such an understanding of Kashmir that he gives feedback to Kashmiris about Kashmir,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Special Protection Group (SPG) Thursday took over the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium.
The SPG installed Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras while additional troops were also deployed.
The BJP has created separate sections including the ones for advertising, transportation and the party leaders have been assigned different tasks.