Amid political ‘lockdown’, BJP all set for full organisational revamp

AVINAV VERMA. Updated: 12/2/2019 4:19:50 AM Front Page

Elects 13 of 17 district presidents, penultimate phase to end by Dec 5; elections for top posts in UTs of J&K, Ladakh likely by December 15

JAMMU: Even as the political lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir has reduced the political activities to a zilch in past four months with any sort of electoral process looking a far distant possibility, the Bharatiya Janata Party has almost completed the penultimate phase of the ongoing organisational polls and is slated to elect its new presidents—one for each union territories carved out of the erstwhile State-- in the days to come.
With the detention of top-and-middle-rung leaders of most of the regional parties since August 5, when the BJP-led union government abrogated special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it in two Union Territories, the political activities in Jammu and Kashmir have come to a complete halt.
However, immunised by the scheme of things in the strife-torn since August 5—including reducing its federal status from a State to a union territory, the saffron party not only begun its organisational polls but has almost completed the penultimate rounds of elections, paving way for the nomination of its top leaders.
On Sunday, the BJP elected its presidents for 13 out of 17 districts, and is set to cover the remaining four districts in this week itself, following which the central leadership will take call on the party chiefs for two newly created UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
The party’s organisational polls take place every three years. This year, the election process had commenced on August 21.
“The party’s booth-level and mandal-level elections were held in the month of October. District-level elections were scheduled to complete in the month of November. We have completed the process for election of 13 district presidents, while the presidents for the remaining districts will be elected before December 5,” BJP’s General secretary Ashok Koul told The News Now.
He added that 31 state council members have also been elected simultaneously in the process.              
Koul further said that the state body has not yet decided on the dates for the president’s election and will take a call in this regard, after taking suggestions from Central leadership.
However, a party insider informed this scribe that BJP is expected to complete election of UTs’ presidents by December 15.
“Hopefully, by December 5, a report on these organisational polls will be submitted to Central leadership following which Amit Shah and other senior leaders will take call on the schedule for the election of presidents,” Koul, meanwhile, said.
When asked if there was a chance of incumbent president Ravinder Raina getting an extension, Koul answered in affirmative.
“Raina Ji may continue as state president. He has only completed one and half year at the top post. But the final call in this regard will be taken by the central leadership,” he said. 
According to BJP’s constitution, one state president can serve two terms of three years continuously.
Koul also said that the party may choose two presidents—one each for J&K, and Ladakh.
“After the bifurcation of the state, there is no reason to elect single president to handle both UTs. Ravinder Raina may continue as president for J&K unit and new party head will be elected for the UT of Ladakh,” another senior leader confirmed.
He said presidents of J&K and Ladakh BJP would be elected as per the constitution of the party.
Moreover, sources in the party said after getting the UT status, the Ladakh unit of the BJP had made it clear to the high command that their unit should be separated from the J&K unit of the party so as to take decisions freely as per the wishes and aspirations of locals.
 “Like other state units, the functioning of the Ladakh BJP will be monitored by the central leadership and the J&K unit has no role in involving any activity of this unit” sources added.
Meanwhile, Koul said that the party will push for completion of BDCs elections for left out panchayats and only then the elections for third tier of panchayati raj system—the District Planning and Development Boards--will be conducted.

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