J&K Pahari leaders likely to join BJP

TNN Bureau. Updated: 2/12/2024 1:28:38 AM Front Page

Jammu: Ahead of upcoming Lok Sabha polls in couple of months time, BJP is likely to get short in the arms with key Pahari leaders are likely to join the party fold.
Pahari community has been striving for the ST status for several decades and their demand remain unheard during National Conference(NC), Congress and even Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) led governments in Jammu and Kashmir. The joining of key figures will bolster the saffron party’s prospectus in upcoming polls.
The development comes days after the Centre announced decision to grant reservation to the Pahari community under the Scheduled Tribe category, a move that has bolstered the community's politicalclout and opened new avenues for representation.
Although the talks are still in advance stages, reports suggest that the leaders might start joining theparty as early as within 24 hours from now. “Some leaders are already in the national capital while some are on their way, and will join the party very soon as talks are in advanced stages,” a report said.
As per reports that leaders from the National Conference, the Congress, and the People's Conference have started discussions with the BJP, seeking to align themselves with the
party's growing influence. "
Among the key figures engaged in final-stage negotiations are former NC leader Rafiq Shah, former People's Conference leader Raja Aijaz Ali Khan, Former MLC Mushtaq Bukahri, Former NC leader ShenazGanaie, and a senior Congress leader, indicating a significant realignment of political forces in the Pahari region," the sources revealed.
The development comes days after the Parliament passed the bill granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Pahari community. The Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order Amendment Bill, 2023 bill also adds the Gadda Brahman, the Paddari Tribe, and the Koli communities to the ST list of Jammu and Kashmir

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