Amit Shah wraps up Kashmir visit, urges delegations not to vote for dynastic parties

Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday wrapped up his brief visit to Kashmir during which he interacted with several delegations, including those from the BJP and local Sikhs, officials said.
Shah, who arrived here on Thursday evening, left for New Delhi on Friday morning, they said.
Though his visit in the midst of Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir led to speculation of his meetings with some Kashmir-based mainstream political leaders, there was no official word on the minister’s engagements before he left the Valley.
According to IANS Shah told various delegations which met him that they should not vote for dynastic parties.
The Home Minister met delegations of the Pahari community, Sikh community and Gujjar/Bakarwals, and also had detailed discussions about party affairs with local BJP leaders.
Talking to reporters later the leaders of the Pahari community said they had thanked the Union Home Minister for granting them the ST status for which the community had been fighting for several decades in J&K. “We expressed our unhappiness for the BJP not fielding any candidate in the three Lok Sabha seats of the Valley. We, however, assured him that the community would abide by the decisions taken by him in such a situation,” the Pahari leaders said.
Sikh delegation members have told the Union Home Minister that the members of this community living in Baramulla, Keran and Uri are all Paharis, but they had been kept out of the ST status granted to the Paharis. The Sikh delegation also demanded that the language in which their holy scriptures are written should be included in the Universities to preserve this language.
Bakarwal delegation also met the Union home minister. Their leaders later said that he had asked them to vote for any candidate they liked except those of the dynastic families of NC, PDP and the Congress.
Shah also met BJP leaders with whom he had detailed discussions about the political situation and the party interests in J&K. “He said while the BJP has been strengthened at the grassroots level throughout the country, it had decided not to fight Lok Sabha elections in the Valley. “Sometimes battles are not fought to defeat the enemy, but to check, reinforce and strengthen the party cadres<” the home minister told us,” said one of the BJP leaders who attended the meeting with Amit Shah.

He also said that the Union Home Minister had asked them to ensure that every worker of the BJP should vote in the Baramulla and Anantnag Lok Sabha seats and ensure that they vote for like-minded parties to defeat dynastic parties.
The home minister told the party leaders that the BJP will fight all the Assembly seats in J&K in the elections likely to be held later this year.
Tarun Chugh, Ravinder Raina, Sunil Sharma, Darakshan Andrabi, Hina Bhat, Altaf Thakur and other BJP leaders were among those who discussed the party affairs with Amit Shah.
The annual Amarnath Yatra begins on June 29 and will end on August 19 and after that, the Assembly elections are expected to be held here.
Amit Shah arrived here on Thursday evening. He was received by the BJP leaders at the Srinagar International Airport, and the Union Home Minister drove to the Lalit Grand Palace Hotel overlooking the Dal Lake in Srinagar city.


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