To create vote bank in Kashmir, BJP focusing on ‘Other Backward Classes’

Srinagar

After roping in some Gujjar leaders, the BJP has now shifted its focus to other backward classes (OBCs) to make inroads into the Kashmir valley. The BJP has deputed its general secretary Narindra Singh to focus on Kashmir-based OBC Muslims to create a party vote bank, reports said on Thursday.

Highly placed sources told Tribune India that the BJP high command had already given its nod to the state unit to target marginalised ethnic groups to strengthen the base in the Valley and other Muslim-dominated areas of the state.

The BJP’s OBC conference in Srinagar held on Monday was the result of ground work done by the party for the past six months. Party’s national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, state president Sat Sharma, Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore Sharma and Narindra Singh were present in the convention in which assurances were given to fulfil all genuine demands of the OBCs.

“The OBCs in the Valley have been marginalised in politics due to their socio-economic conditions,” Narindra Singh told The Tribune, adding, “OBCs are numerically strong in the Valley but they have a negligible role in politics.”

He confirmed that the BJP had decided to focus on OBCs in the Valley to empower them politically and socio-economically.

Realising that the OBCs were upset with other political parties for ignoring their demands, the Deputy Chief Minister during the convention assured them that the government was duty-bound to address their issues.

The OBCs, who constitute a large chunk of population in the state, have been agitating to get 27 per cent reservation as per the recommendations of the Mandal Commission but no party has so far openly supported their demand.

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