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Invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP youth wing holds first convention in Kashmir

The first-time event, however, was not without its share of drama with two youth leaders and their supporters engaging in a verbal duel, accusing each other of “financial and moral corruption”.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Updated: October 23, 2017 6:41 am
 BJP convention in Kashmir, BJP youth wing, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Kashmir convention, narendra modi, India news, Indian Express At the BJP youth wing convention in Srinagar on Sunday. (Express Photo/Shuaib Masoodi)

Aiming to showcase a secular face, the BJP’s youth wing held its first ever convention in Kashmir on Sunday with slogans of ‘Allahu Akbar’ to start the proceedings, and repeated references through the day to former prime minister A B Vajpayee’s “doctrine of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat”.

Addressing a gathering of around 1,000 men and women at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president Poonam Mahajan described the occasion as “historic”.

“When I was told that this is going to be the BJP youth wing’s first ever convention in Kashmir, I was a bit nervous. I have come from Bollywood city. After seeing you here in such large numbers, I can only repeat a Bollywood dialogue. ‘This is just a trailer, friends, the complete superhit movie is yet to come’,” Mahajan, BJP MP from Mumbai, said.

Mahajan was welcomed at the venue with slogans of “Allahu Akbar” and “BJP zindabad”. A few minutes later, came the call for prayer from a mosque nearby, which was quickly followed by an announcement: “Sab khamosh ho jayein, azaan ho rahi hai (Everyone be silent, there is a call for prayer).”

Later, referring to Vajpayee, Mahajan said, “Vajpayeeji said Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat. We have to move forward with Insaniyat. Neighbours can’t be changed but we want peace.”

Speaking at the event, senior BJP leader and J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, too, praised Vajpayee. “I have had three-four chances to go to Pakistan under Track II (diplomacy). Once, a Pakistani asked me how I felt, and I said it was if I am in Jammu and Kashmir. He asked if I was from India and I said I am the state president of Vajpayee’s party in Jammu and Kashmir. He stood up, hugged me and said the world doesn’t have a politician like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He (Vajpayee) stretched the hand of friendship even in an atmosphere like Kargil. He said that friends can be changed but neighbours can’t,” said Singh.

The BJP leader further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was only following Vajpayee by inviting former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif for his oath-taking ceremony. “He (Modi) wanted to send a message that the BJP is not what people think… we want peace, we want friendship,” he said.

The first-time event, however, was not without its share of drama with two youth leaders and their supporters engaging in a verbal duel, accusing each other of “financial and moral corruption”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Adil Ahmad, a Class 10 student from Pampore, said, “I have been with the BJP youth wing for the last few months. I joined them because I was told they would help me financially. Today, out district president asked us to come to Srinagar. We were provided vehicles by the party to come here.”

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  1. K
    Kamal Pasha
    Oct 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm
    The hate amongst castes and minorities started the day RSS murderer Godse killed Mahatama. India will never be a peaceful country in millennium.
    1. K
      Oct 23, 2017 at 4:26 pm
      Hindus were under prosecution by Moghals and Europeans for more than 1000 years! read history properly! Killing of Hindus started from Afghanisthan that's why mountain in afghan is called as HIndukhush . Hindus were victims of the most brutalities committed by the followers of philosophies emerged from middle east.
      1. T
        Oct 23, 2017 at 5:31 pm
        Sir pls listen the official speach y I killed Gandhi by Nathuram godse n his actions were justified
      2. B
        Bhagwaa Bhadwaa
        Oct 23, 2017 at 11:11 am
        Kashmir maeyy bhii Kalkii Avtaar NAMO chaa gayaa. Aabb Nagpur kaeyy RSS kaeyy Daftaar maeyy bhii Ek Maulanaa ko Panchoo waqqt kii namazz phadnaeey kaeyy liyee rakhaa gayaa haii.
        1. I
          Oct 23, 2017 at 3:51 pm
          Five members of the BJP Yuva Morcha (BJPYM) were arrested in Feb. 2017 from MP for alleged links to the ISI. The ISI seems to have been able to find excellent replacements for them in the shape of Poonam Mahajan.
        2. I
          Oct 23, 2017 at 10:11 am
          This is Hindu stan. But in picture above not single Hindu present. This proves India is turning from Hindu stan to Secular stan.
          1. A
            Oct 23, 2017 at 10:00 am
            They should say Allahu Akbar in RSS head quarters in nagpur than it is true jamooriat and insaniyat.
            1. A
              Ajit Das
              Oct 23, 2017 at 8:50 am
              It comes as a whiff of fresh air to see the youth wing of BJP remembering Atal Behari Vajpayee. Does it indicate a change?
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