Aam Aadmi Party Set To Open Office In Srinagar On March 15

Aam Aadmi Party Set To Open Office In Srinagar On March 15

17 February 2014
Authint Mail
Shafat Farooq

Srinagar: The mercurial former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to enter Jammu and Kashmir with the party launching its office in summer capital Srinagar on March 15. Well-placed sources told Authint Mail that the party will formally inaugurate its office in Srinagar on March 15, a date that was unanimously agreed upon after hectic deliberations between the senior party members in New Delhi. “The office will be opened on March 15 but it’s not yet known who will inaugurate the office in Srinagar,” a source said. The party will try to bring Arvind Kejriwal for the formal inauguration of the office but his presence at the inauguration has not been confirmed yet. “In case Mr Kejriwal doesn’t make it to Srinagar due to his engagements in Delhi, then the senior party leader and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan will launch the party in Jammu and Kashmir,” the source said. As an individual, Mr Bhushan enjoys good rapport in Kashmir because of his controversial statements over AFSPA, seeking right to self-determination for people of J&K and demanding an end to human rights violations. “It’s sure that he will be in Kashmir for the formal inauguration,” the source said. Recently, Mr Bhushan stirred a hornet's nest after he called for a referendum in the Valley to decide whether or not the Army should be deployed to deal with internal threats in Kashmir. 'People should be asked whether they want that the Army to handle the internal security of Kashmir. Any decision which does not have the backing of the people is undemocratic. If people feel that the Army is violating human rights and they say they don't want the Army to be deployed for their security, then the Army should be withdrawn from the hinterland,' he had said. Bhushan had triggered a controversy in September 2011 too when he called for a plebiscite in Kashmir at a press conference in Varanasi and said that Kashmir should be allowed to break away from India if Kashmiris did not want to stay as part of India. According to the party insiders, AAP recently conducted interviews of different people belonging to Kashmir in order to give them a green signal for joining the party. “A good number of lawyers, RTI activists, volunteers and a few businessmen are camping in Delhi these days to get a ticket from the party. After conducting their interviews, the party will announce the names of their members in Kashmir besides naming the Kashmir conveyor of AAP,” the source revealed. It is reliably learnt that many candidates from Kashmir are using their influence to get the party ticket but the party has decided to choose a layman in politics tolead the party so as not to send a wrong signal to the people who have been fed up with dynastic politics and corrupt regimes in Kashmir. “The contenders were personally interviewed by Prashant Bhushan,” the source said. About the political discourse that AAP will pursue in Kashmir, the source disclosed that AAP’s Kashmir policy will surprise many people as the party will be dealing with what he termed as ‘real issues’. “It’s definite that the party won’t touch the decades old rhetoric on Kashmir. Nothing about autonomy or self-rule or for that matter pre-1953 position will be discussed by the party in Kashmir. But our politics will revolve around real issues,” the source said, “see you have to consider that among all the states in India, J&K tops corruption list and apart from corruption agenda, AAP’s Kashmir chapter will vociferously advocate getting the power projects back from the NHPC, campaigning about removal of AFSPA from Kashmir, and providing a peaceful platform to raise voice against any kind of rights violations in Kashmir.” “It’s about delivering things on ground. The party is desperate to raise the issues of human rights violations, AFSPA and getting the power projects back to Kashmir,” the source added. The party insiders reveal that the selected candidates will target all four major parties of Jammu and Kashmir which includes National Conference, Congress, Bhartiya Janta Party and Peoples Democratic Party on their failure in resolving the problems in Kashmir. If not on each and every seat, the party will be fielding candidates against top but ‘tainted politicians’ including chief minister Omar Abdullah. “The candidates will be fielded against all the known political bigwigs of Kashmir,” the source said. Recently, Mr Kejriwal had called Omar Abdullah a 'dynasty politician' and said that AAP will sweep the forthcoming polls in the state. “Omar Abdullah is a dynasty politician. Our party will soon open offices in Jammu and Kashmir and will register a glorious triumph in the forthcoming polls,” Kejriwal had said at a Delhi Literature Festival. Replying to the Kejriwal’s assertions, Omar had challenged Kejriwal, stating that his party will face defeat if it contests elections in the state. “If Kejriwal's party fields candidates from the state for the general elections, they would lose their security deposits,” Omar had said mockingly.