Speaking to , BJP spokesperson for Jammu and Kashmir Affairs, Sheikh Khalid Jehangir said that Kashmiri youths have taken the flag hoisting event very positively. Every panchayat would be unfurling the tricolour this season. "I will be going to my constituency Ganderbal. We plan a big Independence day show there," said Khalid Jehangir, adding, "even today at Pampore(outskirts of Srinagar) a huge rally of youths was organised by us (BJP). Over 2,000 youths have gathered to listen to Ram Madhav (BJP National General Secretary). Madhav saheb now attracts more crowd than Ghulam Nabi Azad. No wonder a majority of youths are realising the new power of India."
Out of 4,490 panchayats in the state, more than half lies within the Valley. Amid security threat from the terror outfits, mostly by the modules of Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) active in Kashmir, the Centre has moved in additional 100 companies of paramilitary forces to ensure a peaceful flag hoisting functions across the state.
In sensitive districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramula and Kupwara, extra security cover is being provided to sarpanch and their families. "The district police chiefs in Kashmir region, coordinating with the commandants of respective para military battalions have been instructed to ensure fool proof security measures in hyper sensitive villages. The situation is being monitored at the highest level," said a source in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Through a chain of the flag hoisting ceremonies across the valley, BJP wants to generate a momentum in support of Centre's pro-nationalist agenda. Earlier Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his recent visit to Srinagar, has promised to empower local governments, particularly the newly elected sarpanch of village panchayats. Shah, who avoided meeting BJP's former political allies, made a point to chair a meeting with village sarpanchs.
The BJP government, in a bid to provide the benefits of various schemes at the doorsteps of each villager has earmarked Rs 3700 crore for social sector and development projects. The BJP leadership is of the view that flag hoisting integrates with the ongoing development projects which are aimed for the betterment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their caste or religion.
( With inputs from IANS )