If not in Kashmir, AAP will challenge BJP in Jammu

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) - Arvind Kejriwal

SRINAGAR — With Jammu and Kashmir polls in mind, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) these days is too busy attracting the attention of the people.

Arvind Kejriwal has dispatched a special ‘observer’ team that is camping in Valley and Jammu. AAP is confident of ‘victory’, if not in Kashmir, but in Jammu, it can challenge the BJP in its strong bastions.

AAP’s Co-Observer for Jammu Kashmir, Salahuddin Khan who hails from New Delhi told news agency Kashmir News Trust that they are keenly observing the ground situation both in Kashmir and Jammu. “We have been meeting a cross-section of society. Their valuable inputs have really been helping us. It’s very important to know who is who in the political arena and who is commanding more respect,” he said.

“We won Punjab showcasing our Delhi Model. AAP is hopeful that it will make a mark in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, adding that people with a good reputation are always welcome in party-fold.

A senior party member and district president Shopian, Advocate Ieshan said that AAP’s impressive performance and its upright and pro-people policies are connecting people with the party. “AAP will emerge a force to reckon with,” he said with confidence.

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Recently AAP’s impressive roadshow in Chenab Valley saw spontaneous participation of people.

“We will contest all 90 Assembly seats across Jammu and Kashmir,” Salahuddin maintained, adding that the party has seriously arrived in J&K.

To a question that AAP is reluctant to welcome turncoats and politicians with not a good reputation, founder member of the AAP in Kashmir and General Secretary Younis Naik said that Arvind Kejriwal welcomes all but at the end of the day, he believes in people and seeks their guidance and help when it comes to the dispersal of tickets for the Assembly segments.

In response to a question about the presence of the Aam Aadmi Party in Jammu and Kashmir, President Apni Party, Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari says having more and more options is always in the interest of the people. “Presence of so many political parties implies that people have alternatives and that is very good,” Bukhari said.

Another Apni Party leader who wished not to be named said that AAP will really threaten the BJP in Jammu. “The presence of AAP has already frustrated the BJP leaders in Jammu,” he said.

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Recently, BJP National General Secretary, Tarun Chugh while addressing party workers in Udhampur termed the AAP leaders as ‘opportunists.

In a veiled attack on Aam Aadmi Party, he called upon the BJP workers to launch a crusade against opportunist and ‘anti-national forces’ while questioning AAP’s statement on ‘The Kashmir Files’ the one day and the next day the same party announced a comprehensive penetration program in Jammu & Kashmir.

“BJP doesn’t want penetration of AAP in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Jammu,” political leader Er Nazir Itoo said.

Reports from Jammu suggest that there are many known faces in local politics including former ministers, MLAs, MLCs who have reportedly expressed their wish to join AAP.

“To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. AAP works for people and people will certainly want this party to grow in Jammu and Kashmir,” Salahuddin Khan said.

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