‘They Will Come Out of Their Homes Like Frogs,’ BJP Leader on Mainstream Poll Participation

SRINAGAR: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Jammu and Kashmir General Secretary Ashok Koul Saturday stirred a row by calling mainstream leaders other than those with the BJP as frogs, stating that “let election time come, all the political leaders will come out to join the fray.”

BJP leaders celebrating August 15, 2020, at party headquarter in Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the elections will be held in J&K and there will be ministers and chief minister. We too want polls to take place in J&K. Delimitation exercise is already on and when that will end, Assembly polls will be held,” Koul said while talking to reporters after unfurling tri-colour at BJP headquarters in Srinagar on the eve of 74th Independence Day.

When asked that some mainstream leaders have stated that they won’t contest polls, Koul said they had claimed the same earlier too when panchayat polls were held. “They didn’t contest panchayat polls but joined the poll fray in Parliamentary election. I bet when poll bugle for the Assembly will be blown, all these mainstream leaders will come out of their homes like frogs and join the poll pray,” Koul said, according to local news gatherer KNO.

Koul said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about holding Assembly polls in J&K from the Red Fort. “We need to be ready about the new political process,” he said.

Members of all Opposition Unionist parties including National Conference, Congress and CPI (m) urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate a meaningful dialogue process with all stakeholders to restore peace and normalcy in violence-hit Kashmir a meet called and chaired by Dr Farooq Abdullah at his Gupkar residence Srinagar days ahead of the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

He said there are no “ifs and buts as far as Assembly polls are concerned.” Asked about the restoration of statehood, he said that GoI is committed to restoring the state status to the J&K. “But for that, all guns should fall silent. Yesterday, two policemen were killed. What was their fault? One of the slain policemen was supposed to get engaged today,” Koul said. “When people would start moving on rounds without fear, statehood will return.”

About the security concerns of BJP workers, he said government and the police have already taken some steps and more will be done in the days ahead. On why the internet was snapped on I-Day eve even when J&K is now a UT, he said that 2-G is working fine and when the last gun of militants will fall silent and separatist activities would stop permanently, “statehood and 4-G should be restored on the very day.”

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