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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: Aug 11, 2018, 12:46 AM; last updated: Aug 11, 2018, 12:46 AM (IST)

BJP brass wants state leaders to focus on LS polls

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Services

Jammu, August 10

The chances of government formation in the state look bleak as the BJP high command is concentrating on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and is not ready to reconduct the ‘coalition experiment’ at this crucial stage.

Sources said the central leadership had given directions to the state unit to focus on the parliamentary elections by asking all MLAs to highlight the achievements of the NDA government in their respective constituencies to counter the Opposition’s campaign.

“Ram Madhav discussed only organisational issues and his focus was only to retain three Lok Sabha seats which the party had won in the 2014 elections,” said a senior BJP leader who attended the meeting with Madhav.

“Although some former ministers and legislators asked Ram Madhav about the chances of government formation in the state, he avoided all such queries and made it clear that the party high command will take a call on the issue at the appropriate time,” the BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity.

He said one thing was evident during the meeting that the target of the party’s central leadership as of now was the Lok Sabha elections.

“Instead of giving any assurance on government formation, Ram Madhav preferred to discuss the party’s strategy for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections,” he said.

Sources said the state BJP unit, especially former ministers and legislators, were exerting pressure on the high command to explore the possibilities of forming the government, but the central leadership had given the cold shoulder.

“The experiment of stitching a coalition with the PDP did not yield the desirable results so the party leadership is not ready to take risk ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls,” a source said.

The source said the party leadership feared that any wrong decision at this point would prove disastrous for the party so the chances of government formation were bleak.

Madhav’s two-day visit to Srinagar from August 8 to 9 had fuelled speculations that the BJP had started efforts to form the government.

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