Are elections to Jammu and Kashmir going to be held sooner than expected? The national chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s membership drive, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has suddenly become extremely active. On July 25 and 26, Chouhan will be in Jammu and Srinagar to review the BJP’s membership increase and also the strategy for elections. All local leaders will be present for a meeting with him. The BJP’s leadership has a target of enrolling 17 lakh members. As part of the current membership drive that will be on till 11 August, the party will have completed the enrollment of around 6 lakh members. Presumably elections will be announced only when the BJP is confident it has enough members to sway the outcome in its favour.
Congress struggles, while BJP gears up
With assembly elections due in Haryana in October, there is a stark difference between the way the Congress and the BJP are readying themselves for the contest. The BJP won all 10 Lok Sabha seats from the state. The Congress organisation is in shambles. When party chief Ashok Tanwar was asked to resign from his position after the party’s disastrous result, his riposte was that he would not quit from the position as the party’s loss was a collective responsibility. Earlier this year, when party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala lost the Jind by-election, he charged some elements from within his party with sabotaging the poll. In January, infighting was public after the Tanwar faction insisted on contesting the civic body polls while the Hooda faction had resisted the suggestion. The BJP meanwhile is readying itself to draft its manifesto after talking to people on the ground.