Thursday, November 27, 2014

BJP in Kashmir: The ‘500 recruits’ who didn’t know it

kashmir-l The audience at the event; many said they didn’t know it was for recruitment. 
(Source: IE photo by Shuaib Masoodi)
Written by Adil Akhzer | Posted: November 28, 2014 
A programme supposedly meant to induct 500 members into the BJP ended up recruiting only two, with many of the people invited saying they had no idea that this was why they had been called.
On Wednesday, the BJP’s state media cell had said around 500 people would join in the presence of the top leadership. On Thursday, national BJP general secretary Ram Madhav arrived for the function in Srinagar. Many of the targeted recruits, however, denied having any information about joining and said BJP leaders had called them with various other promises.
“We had no idea this would be a programme to join the BJP. A local leader had taken our photographs and promised us money as flood relief,” said Mohammed Yusuf Nabi, 48, of Kawoosa in Magam.
Ruksana Jabeena, a postgraduate student in Kashmir University, came from Pattan. “I was told this is an educational programme and I would benefit if I attended a lecture. Many of my friends have come and we are shocked to see they have told the media we are joining the BJP,” she said.
Fida Hussain of Dal Lake area came in a bus with 50 others hoping to get compensation for flood damage. “We spent Rs 3,000, but it turned out to be a political event,” Fida said.
Altaf Thakur, the BJP’s media-in-charge, conceded to The Indian Express he has heard about complaints by some of the people at the event. He alleged, “I guess rival parties brought some people to disrupt our event.”
At the function, Ram Madhav said: “I am here to appeal to you to strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Modi. Only one thing is on Modiji’s mind — the development of Kashmir, Kashmir and Kashmir.”
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