Buoyed by the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) election results in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP today said it is hopeful to win over 50 assembly seats in the next elections and form a government on its own in the state.
The BJP swept the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections and made some advances in Kashmir, by winning 100 wards in the Valley, in the four-phased ULB elections in the state that were marred by boycott by the NC and PDP.
BJP state president Ravinder Raina said today the party is hopeful of achieving the magic figure of 50 plus in the next assembly elections to form its own government in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said a two-member team of senior leaders is visiting Ladakh tomorrow to look into the reasons for the poor performance of the party in the region and take appropriate steps for "course correction" to win the electorate of the region.
"The BJP got thumping majority in Jammu and the graph of the party is increasing in Kashmir where we were not getting a worker to lift the party flag sometime back. The performance in Kashmir is a big achievement for us as the party won 106 municipal wards there.
"We have full faith the party will sweep the upcoming parliamentary elections... In the last assembly elections, our mission was 44 plus seats but next time when the assembly elections will be held, we will achieve our mission of 50 plus seats (out of a total of 87 seats up for grabs) and will form the government on our own and the chief minister will be from our party," the BJP leader told reporters in Srinagar.
Asked whether the chief minister will be from Jammu or Kashmir in case the BJP achieves its target, Mr Raina said he will be from the BJP and "the one you would like to have".
He also lauded the security forces for back-to-back success against terrorists and said like prime minister's slogan of "Congress-free India," the mission of "terrorism-free Jammu and Kashmir" would be achieved to usher peace, prosperity and development in the state.
He said the people of Kashmir have "shown mirror" to the terrorists and separatists and the mainstream parties which boycotted the elections.
"They will repeat their faith in the democratic exercise during the panchayat elections (scheduled to be held in nine phases in November-December). Though the panchayat elections are being held on non-party basis, it is meant for strengthening grass-root level institutions to empower people," he said.
Mr Raina said the successful conclusion of the ULB elections was the victory of democracy and the nation.
"Those who wanted to sabotage the polls miserably failed in their nefarious design and people chose democracy, peace and development and their vote was for Prime minister Narendra Modi's vision of new India. The people voted for India."
He said besides the JMC where the party won 43 seats out of the total 75, the BJP enjoys majority in 25 committees in Jammu region and eight in Kashmir valley.
"The BJP is also in the position of kingmaker as far as the selection of mayor of Srinagar Municipal Corporation is concerned," Mr Raina claimed.
He said the BJP faced resistance from its own rebels instead of candidates from the Congress or other parties.
"Eight Independents who have registered their victory in the JMC have returned to the party fold taking the number of our seats to over 50," Mr Raina said.
He claimed the support of many Independents across the state.
On the latest anti-terrorist operation in Kulgam district of south Kashmir where three ultras were killed, he said, "Our message is clear that one who picks up the gun against the country and conspires against the nation and indulge in bloodshed will not be spared."
The brave security personnel will wipe out terrorists and make the state an abode of peace and brotherhood, he added.
On a question that the BJP suffered losses in Kathua district where people held rallies in support of the demand for a CBI probe into the rape and murder of a minor girl early this year when the party and the PDP were running the state in coalition, Mr Raina said the party got majority in the council and is also forming the other municipal committees in the district.
On the failure of the BJP to open its account in the two municipal committees of Leh and Kargil in Ladakh region, the BJP leader said, "We did not have the results as per our expectations there".
"Two senior leaders will be deputed to Leh tomorrow to look into the poor performance of the party. They will look into the reason and if there will be a need, course correction will be done," he said.