Srinagar, 3 June-2014, Naseer Ganai/IT: With ruling National Conference and Congress sulking after a massive defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are now aiming high.
BJP and PDP have geared up to get a majority in the 87 member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Both are working to get 44 seats each and have named it ‘mission 44’.
Jammu and Kashmir is expected to go to polls in October November.
The Omar Abdullah-led coalition government of NC and Congress would complete six years in January. However, it is expected that the state may recommend for early polls.
PDP, which has 21 members in the state Assembly, has set target for 44 seats after it won three Lok Sabha seats from the Valley. The BJP won three out of six Lok Sabha seats of Jammu, Udhampur and Ladakh taking lead in 29 Assembly segments in the recently concluded Parliamentary polls. The BJP has 11 members in the Assembly.
As the Congress and NC have themselves declared out of race by accusing each other of being responsible for the defeat, the PDP has started considering the BJP as its main political rival.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has ruled out any alliance with the BJP. The party accuses BJP of polarising voters in Jammu and said it would launch a campaign to reach out to people of Jammu. The BJP, however, has already started its exercise in the Valley with state BJP general secretary Ashok Koul is in Kashmir for a weeklong tour. “We are exploring all options in the Valley. Our target is to get 44 seats and we have to make inroads in the Valley for that,” Koul told Mail Today.
He said the BJP might enter into alliance with smaller parties in Kashmir in the Assembly elections to achieve the target.
The ruling NC and Congress, which are likely to contest the polls independently, are watching the political moves of the BJP and PDP. “We are taking feedback from people and we would improve our course of action and we hope Assembly results will be different from the Parliamentary polls,” Salman Anis Soz, Congress spokesman, said.
“We are taking feedback. We have done many things in past two weeks. We are confident we will bounce back,” NC spokesman Tanveer Sadiq said.