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Why Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in J&K is important for BJP?

Last Updated on April 7, 2024 at 12:40 pm

With the campaigning for Lok Sabha polls in full swing in Jammu and Kashmir, all eyes are set on Anantnag constituency out of total five seats in the Union Territory (UT).

The constituency may not have drawn much attention in the past but due to its tricky nature being a seat carved out from parts of both divisions – Kashmir and Jammu – the seat becomes important as the hopes of BJP are also high to enter into the Kashmir region through here.

The competition although is very tough as National Conference has fielded Mian Altaf – a prominent Gujjar leader who will compete with Democratic Progressive Azad Party’s Ghulam nabi Azad, Apni Party’s Zafar Iqbal Manhas, a Pahari face. While the PDP has not announced its candidate from the seat even as the INDIA alliance in the UT is in tatters, it is believed that Mehbooba Mufti will contest from the seat.

There were reports that BJP might not contest the elections from the seat and would support DPAP – termed to be a B team of BJP. However it seems that the saffron party will announce a Hindu face from the seat to reap the benefits of providing Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to Pahari speaking people without diluting the status of Gujjar and Bakerwal community.

Being a multi cornered contest with most leaders from Valley, Anantnag will become a classic example of division of Muslim vote bank which will directly benefit the BJP to some extent. The BJP is already riding high on developmental agenda at Udhampur and Jammu seat where the saffron party is confident of the victory.

If the BJP is able to score a victory in the Anantnag constituency, it will give a message to the world that the Kashmiri people have accepted the saffron party after abrogation of Article 370. It will also be the first time that the BJP will be able to enter Kashmir in Lok Sabha polls. Kashmir – a Muslim majority region which shares its borders with Pakistan will however not be an easy catch for BJP.