Piercing into the traditional stronghold of Bhartaya Janata Party (BJP) in Kanak Mandi area of old Jammu city, National Conference on Monday made its presence felt when the local traders association organized a reception to honour the party’s newly appointed Provincial President Devender Singh Rana.
The reception coincided with the Shivratri Mela organized by the association as its annual feature. The felicitation of the National Conference is considered to be a watershed as the area has hitherto remained almost out of bound for national, regional and other mainstream parties.
The President of the traders association along with the functionaries and prominent members besides businessmen had joined National Conference recently at a specially held function.
This is considered a major setback for the BJP which is struggling to put its act together following division, dissention and emergence of various groups within the party especially after seven MLAs were disqualified by the party high command for breach of party discipline and violation of whip during 2011 Council elections.
A senior functionary of the association told KNS that there has been growing disenchantment with the BJP which has only precipitated the issues by raking up communal and regional issues ignoring the economic concerns of the people.
“People are craving for progress, development, infrastructure build up in the Jammu city, a premier pilgrim centre of the country”, he said adding this can be achieved only by the leadership having pragmatic approach towards economic and developmental issues.
Welcoming Rana, the senior functionaries of the association exuded confidence that the city will witness fillip and economic boom under the coalition government led by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Rana expressed his gratitude to the association for honouring him and assured that the issues confronting the business community and people of Jammu as a whole will receive due attention and efforts would be made to redress these in a phased manner and focused attention.
The Provincial President also greeted the people on Maha Shivratri on behalf of the Chief Minister and the National Conference and hoped the festival will be a harbinger of peace, brotherhood and amity.