Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas?

  • BY BIVEK MATHUR
  • Publish Date: Oct 1 2018 4:38AM
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  • Updated Date: Oct 1 2018 4:38AM
Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas?Representational Pic

Bharitya Janta Party (BJP) boasts to be a party which believes in the concept of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (collective efforts, inclusive growth).

But party’s stand seems to have been exposed when it had to nominate the candidates for the municipal wards in the Jammu district for the ULB elections.

In four Assembly Constituencies of Jammu district i.e. Jammu East, Jammu West, Gandhi Nagar and Raipur Domana, there are 75 municipal wards and the BJP has given mandate to only 3 Muslim candidates, of them one woman, from Muslim dominated Gujjar Nagar, Tawi Vihar, Sidhra and Bathindi areas.    

For 75 wards in Jammu Municipal Corporation, the candidates from Jammu East Constituency are former BJP Mahila Morcha president, Purnima Sharma from ward number 1, Rajinder Sikka from ward number 2, Narotam Sharma from ward number 3, Sunita Koul from ward number 4, Gopal Gupta from ward number 5, Master Akram from ward number 6, Sangeeta Anand from ward number 7, Dr Akshay Sharma from ward number 8, Anil Masoom from ward number 10, Savita Anand from ward number 11, Gitangli Mahajan from ward number 15 and Rajesh Dogra from ward number 19.  

The candidates finalised from Jammu West constituency are Sumit Raina from ward number 9, Jeet Angral from ward number 12, Isha Bharti from ward number 13, Pramood Kapahi from ward number 14, Rajinder Sharma from ward number 16, Nidhi Magotra from ward number 17, Dinesh Gupta from ward number 18, Urvarshi Gupta from ward number 24, Arun Khanna from ward number 25, Parshotam Khajuria (26), Madhu Gupta (27), Ravi Kant (28), Surinder Choudhary (29), Veena Gupta (30), Ayodhya Gupta (31), Sat Paul Karlupia (32), Chander Mohan Gupta (33), Mehak Dogra (34), Yash Paul Sharma (Mantoo) (35), Deepak Gupta (36), Sunita Gupta (37), Surinder Sharma (38), Parbhat Singh Jamwal (39), Neelam Nargotra (40) and Sanjay Baru (41).  

From Gandhi Nagar Constituency, Rahul Kumar and Pawan Singh are the BJP candidates for ward number 20 and 23, while Priya Gupta is the candidate from ward number 21, Jai Deep Sharma (ward 22), Neha Gupta (ward 42), Surjeet Singh (Pappu Choudhary) (43), Ram Lal Langar (44), Raj Rani (45), Raj Singh Randhwa (46), Shardha Kumari (47), Pending (48), Dilbag Singh (49), Neena Gupta (50), Kulbir Singh Charak (51), Ajay Gupta (52), Jyoti Devi (53), Neeraj (Lucky Puri) (54), Dalbir Singh (55), Baldev Singh Baloria (56), Jyoti Sharma (57), Sardarni Tirath Kour (58), Anil Kumar (68), Gurmeet Kour Randhawa (69), Narinder Singh Bunti (70), Girdhari Lal (73) and Muhammad Rafiq (74).

From Raipur Domana constituency, the candidates who figured in the BJP list are Joginder Singh Chib (59), Bahadur Singh (60), Surinder Bhagat (61), Rekha Manhas (62), Kuldeep Singh Chib (63), Kapil Singh Chib (64), Asha Rani (65), Tripta Devi (66), Suraj Padha (67), Mumtaz Begham (71), Mahesh Bhardwaj (72), and Ganesh Kumar from ward number 75.

Of the 75 people nominated for as many wards, the Muslim candidates are Master Akram from ward number 6, Gujjar Nagar; Mumtaz Begum from ward number 71, Tawi Vihar; Sidhra Colony and Muhammad Rafiq from ward number 74, Bathindi.

According to a BJP insider, even the three Muslim candidates are the new entrants into the party fold.

“Forget representation to Muslim candidates in all wards, when the elections were announced, our State unit was in a fix as we had no Muslim candidate to be fielded even in the Muslim dominated areas,” he said.

Party general secretary (Organisation) Ashok Koul said that party had either no choice of Muslim candidates in some areas or had no candidate in other areas.

“So, we give representation to those candidates who have good social or political connect in the society irrespective of their political background,” Koul said.   

A retired teacher by profession, Master Akram is BJP MLC Ashok Khajuria and MLA Rajesh Gupta loyalist. He said he agreed to be BJP candidate only few days back after his school-time cronies in BJP approached him for the role. He, however is a great fan of local BJP MLA, Rajesh Gupta for the “rapid development” in the area.     

Around 30-year-old Muhammad Rafiq, the BJP candidate from ward number 74, Bathindi, owns a service station. He has no political background. One of his relatives said that BJP had no candidate in the area. So, the party decided to field Rafiq since he has good reputation among youth in the area. Mumtaz Begum, around 40-year-old Gujjar candidate from Tawi Vihar, Sidhra is also the new entrant into the BJP. The woman is chosen for the role owing to her good mass contact approach.   

Not only in Hindu dominated Jammu district wards, BJP has also ignored the Muslims while announcing the names of candidates for ULB polls in Municipal Council and Municipal Committees of Muslim dominated districts like Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch.

As per the first list, in Poonch, the party gave representation to 17 people, no Muslim among them. However, some names were declared on the day of filing of nominations.       

In Surankote, 13 people got BJP mandate, of them only 4 Muslims.  All 5 candidates in Thannamandi are Muslims. In Rajouri, of 17 people given mandate, there are 4 Muslims. However, some names were declared on the day of filing of nominations.

In Nowshera, Sunderbani, Khour, Jourian, Gho Manhasa, RS Pura, Arnia, Bishnah, Bari Brahamana, Ramgarh, Vijaypur, Batote, Thathri, Udhampur, Katra, Reasi, Kathua, Nagri, Billawar, Basohli, Hiranagar and Samba, the party didn’t give representation to any Muslim candidate.

Party has given mandate to 2 Muslims in Kishtwar, all four Muslims in Banihal, one each in Ramban, Doda, Chenani, Lakhanpur, and 7 in Bhaderwah.

The Election Committee of J&K BJP headed by its president, Ravinder Raina, released three lists of 425 candidates for the polls. The party president released first list of 380 candidates on September 20 followed by another list of 34 candidates on September 22 and third list of 11 candidates for the Leh Municipal Corporation.