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Amit Shah arriving in Srinagar today

01:10 AM May 16, 2024 IST | SHUCHISMITA
amit shah arriving in srinagar today

Jammu, May 15: Union Home Minister Amit Shah is arriving on a two-day visit to J&K on Thursday.


Officially speaking, security review and meeting with certain delegations are on the cards.


“His visit, which will restrict only to Srinagar, is mainly aimed at taking stock of the security situation yet he is also scheduled to meet delegations, representing diverse groups,” was the official murmur, with the usual caution that input was ‘tentative.’


Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party’s senior leader and chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi, responding to Greater Kashmir’s queries, confirmed the Union Home Minister’s visit to Srinagar, beginning tomorrow, yet stated that he was not aware of his schedule.


“Yes, he will be there in Srinagar tomorrow. However, I don't know about his actual schedule. Tentatively, it is for two days only. On May 17, he will leave," Sethi said, in response to a query about the Home Minister's itinerary.


Will he meet delegations, as initial reports have suggested? Sethi’s response to this query was, “We can’t say that. In any case, that (itinerary) will be a security issue. They won’t be giving prior information about that.”


Party sources in Srinagar unit, though preferring anonymity, however, confirmed that the Union Home Minister was scheduled to meet some specific delegations representing divergent sections of society, including a delegation of party workers at 6.30 pm or so, after his arrival on May 16 evening.


“He will reach here in Srinagar at around 6 pm, directly from Darbhanga (in Bihar). After his arrival, he will meet some delegations, including party delegation, at Nehru Guest House. Separate delegations of Paharis; Gujjar-Bakerwals; Sikhs; traders; representatives of Commerce & Industry and members of civil society besides that BJP leaders and workers are scheduled to share their issues and concerns with the Union Home Minister. He will spend the night here in Srinagar only and will fly back to the union capital in the afternoon on May 17,” sources said.

“Next day i.e., May 17 morning, he is scheduled to hold a high-level security review meeting of top officials of civil, police administration, paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies. Basically that (security review meeting) forms the core agenda of his visit. There is no political agenda. Delegations would be meeting him in his capacity as the Union Home Minister and not as a senior BJP leader,” sources stated, when asked if there was any meeting scheduled with the leaders of political parties like J&K People’s Conference, J&K Apni Party etc.


Prior to the Union Home Minister’s visit, on May 11, Union Home Secretary A K Bhalla had reviewed the security situation during his brief visit for the purpose (security review) to Srinagar, which went to polls on May 13, in the fourth phase.

Security forces and even election authorities deem all three parliamentary constituencies of Kashmir as challenging.

Srinagar parliamentary constituency on the poll date demonstrated very positive vibes with brisk (second highest turnout since 1989) and peaceful (39 percent) polling, earning applause from all quarters, including the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Lieutenant Governor.

However, challenges remain with both the security set-up and election authorities to maintain the same momentum, in terms of security as well as high voter turnout, in the next two phases as well.

Upcoming phases are crucial also in the backdrop of desperate attempts of the neighbouring nation to disrupt the peaceful polling process by sponsoring terror activities and inputs of presence of terrorists in Pir-Panjal and some other areas.

Three terror incidents did take place in the Jammu region in the recent past yet they failed to deter the spirits of enthusiastic voters.

Baramulla parliamentary constituency will go to polls on May 20 in the fifth phase while the rescheduled poll-date for Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency is May 25 (sixth phase).

Fool-proof security to ensure free, fair and transparent elections (in the next two critical phases) will be the dominant and perhaps only core agenda of the likely review meeting to be chaired by the Union Home Minister – is a clear presumption.


This will be Shah’s second visit to J&K amid the general elections-2024. On April 16, he addressed an election rally in Jammu, in support of party candidates Jugal Kishore Sharma and Dr Jitendra Singh, fielded from Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary constituencies, which went to the polls in the second phase (April 26) and first phase (April 19) respectively.

It was this rally at Paloura, where the Union Home Minister had clearly hinted that the party would not contest from any of three constituencies in Kashmir viz., Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri.

High-point of his Jammu rally was his statement that the party (BJP) was “not in a hurry to see lotus blooming in Kashmir, which eventually would happen with the love and affection of people.” “We’re here to win the hearts of people in Kashmir and not to occupy land, as our political detractors allege. My only appeal to the voters of Kashmir, mainly youth is – Vote for any party but don’t vote for three dynastic parties of Gandhis, Abdullahs and Muftis who ruined Kashmir,” Shah had asserted, in the rally.

Eventually the party did not field its candidates from Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri constituencies. It announced to support “like-minded nationalist” parties yet till date openly not specified their names.

Though party sources have refused to link the Union Home Minister’s visit to any political agenda, political analysts are trying to “read between the lines” and "tread beyond the specified itinerary."

Will this visit clear confusion about those blurred lines for the next two crucial poll phases and come out with a clear strategy to ensure defeat of “those three dynastic parties”? – is a general query.