This Article is From Nov 16, 2014

BJP Preps For Jammu and Kashmir Polls, With New Strategies and Slogan

High on enthusiasm, the BJP has changed its election slogan in Jammu and Kashmir from 'Mission 44+' to 'Mission 50+'

Jammu: After its blockbuster performance in the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP is now focusing on Jammu and Kashmir where five-phase Assembly election begins on November 25.

The issue of Article 370 is the real test for the BJP with its Srinagar candidate Hina Bhat threatening to quit if Article 370 is repealed. "370 is Kashmir, nobody can dare to snatch it. Kashmir will be finished the day 370 is dissolved. I will be the first person to leave the party if 370 will be taken from us," she said.

The state BJP has not yet made its position clear on the issue, but is devising new strategies, including invitation to the separatists to join mainstream politics, to strengthen its foothold in Jammu and Kashmir.

"By taking the path of separatism you are going to the door of Pakistani high commissioner and the Pakistani Prime Minister, come into the mainstream, the doors of your own prime minister are open for you," senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said.

Former separatist leader Sajjad Lone, who met Mr Modi earlier this month, said the BJP leader could change Kashmir's fortunes.

"I found the prime minister very positive on all issues. When it came to smart city for Srinagar he sounded very positive and on development issues again very positive and most of it very involved," said Mr Lone.

The BJP leadership is also approaching smaller groups and individuals in an effort to create ground for a post-poll alliance. And it has not forgotten Kashmiri Pandits who the party leadership believes could be crucial in case the Muslims boycott BJP.

High on enthusiasm, the BJP has changed its election slogan from 'Mission 44+' to 'Mission 50+' in the 87-seat state assembly.

Ajatshatru Singh, National Conference leader and the son of Congress leader Karan Singh, recently joined the BJP and the party feels his presence could turn the tide in its favour.

The BJP's best performance so far has been during the 2008 state elections, when the party won 11 seats. This time, the party says it is not contesting to better its performance but to win the elections and to come to power. Its real test would be to accommodate the aspirations of people from all the regions of the state.