More than 100 panchayat members from UT are likely to join AAP

News Desk: Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) political ambitions in J&K are set to get a shot in the arm as more than 100 panchayat members from UT are likely to join the party in New Delhi before Arvind Kejriwal on April 8.

Following AAP’s landslide victory in Punjab, it has started making inroads in J&K, where panchayat members are the only elected representatives currently. Provincial president of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJ&KPC) Arun Sharma, said, “More than 100 sarpanches, 10 block development council (BDC) chairmen and a couple of district development council (DDC) members are going to join AAP in New Delhi on April 8 before Kejriwal. We are joining with the consent of our chairman Shafiq Mir. ” These PRI members hail from Doda, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Ramban, Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts.

Sharma added that over 100 PRI members were directly in talks with Kejriwal via Jammu in-charge Manish Sinha. “Our delegation will assembly outside AAP’s Jammu office on April 7 before leaving for Delhi and the next day, we will have discussions on J&K’s scenario to know AAP’s agenda for the people before joining it,” said Sharma.

Mir, while confirming the development, said, “AAP is 90% focussed on panchayats and 10% on senior political leaders with neat and clean image. Since panchayats were not empowered by the BJP government in J&K, the PRI members were feeling suffocated and they now see AAP as a better option. BJP has betrayed panchayat members.” The union territory as of date has 4000 Sarpanch and nearly 35000 panches,

Amid simmering discontent against the local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, Aam Admi Party (AAP), bolstered by its landslide victory in the Punjab assembly elections, has been making rapid strides forward in Jammu and Kashmir and started to emerge as another viable option.

Political pundits feel that though “Modi magic” may get the BJP through, AAP may also throw up some surprises and upset “pre-conceived” political equations in Jammu and Kashmir. They feel that AAP may spoil the prospects of many “heavyweights” and an “over-confident” BJP.

The UT is likely to go to assembly polls soon. Once the elections were announced by the Election Commission, AAP decided to field its candidates for all 90 seats.