BJP turns green to exploit religious sentiment in Kashmir Valley; people not fooled
BJP has been issuing the poll related advertisement featuring PM Modi and Khalid Jahangir to many local dailies in a green hue instead of it’s traditional saffron
"For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) colour saffron is green in Valley" said Ab Rashid Bhat, a resident of Srinagar's Jawahar Nagar area said after taking a look at an advertisement carried by a leading local English newspaper.
Bharatiya Janata Party has been issuing the poll related advertisement to many local dailies in a green hue instead of it’s traditional bright saffron.
The advertisement features Prime Minister Modi on the left top and Khalid Jahangir, BJP's candidate for the Srinagar-Budgam Lok Sabha constituency in the centre against a green backdrop with a party symbol in white.
The selection of ‘green’ colour, which is usually associated with Muslims and Pakistan, have riled many in the Valley. People are looking at it as an attempt on part of the saffron party to exploit religious sentiments.
"They can not fool us. We could see through their devious means," said Rashid.
Muhammad Yaqoob, an elderly man from central Kashmir's Budgam district said that BJP has always used religion as a smoke screen to hide their failures.
"It is sheer hypocrisy," he said, adding that it would hardly work in Kashmir.
Reacting to the advertisement, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted:
The saffron of the BJP turns green when it reaches Kashmir. I’m not sure whether the party truly believes it can fool voters when it makes a fool of itself like this. Why can’t they show their true colours while campaigning in the valley?
Taking a dig at the BJP, prominent economist and former Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu tweeted:
In Kashmir the colours are changing and how! Such are the political colours of elections. How saffron has been greened! Or is it the PDP has left an indelible mark on the BJP palette?
A Valley-based political observer, who did not wish to be named, said that people of Kashmir have always been betrayed by "green".
"During the elections of 1977, Mirza Afzal Beigh would wave rock-salt covered in green handkerchief in mammoth public rallies, gesturing merger with Pakistan after winning the elections," he said.
Observers believe that the reason for this change is that the BJP’s chances of doing well in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are bleak even though they won seats in the municipal and panchayat polls held last year. But the saffron party could get this favourable poll result only because the two main parties in the Valley, the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party boycotted the polls.