BJP's Haryana campaign to center around Art 370 repeal

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar (PTI Photo)

With hectic electioneering set to pick up in Jatland, the incumbent BJP will spin the poll campaign around the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. This, might as a stronger counter to any anti-incumbency that may have set in during the last five years of BJP rule in Haryana, party sources said.

During the Lok Sabha elections, the rhetoric around the Balakot strike in PoK by the Indian Air Force was used to the hilt by saffron party leaders in the state. The strategy seems to have worked, as the BJP romped home to a resounding victory, winning all the 10 seats in Haryana for the first time ever.

Despite its small size, Haryana a high representation in the armed forces. The state also has a sizeable number of Army veterans and other ex-servicemen. As such, nationalistic narratives tend to impact the electorate in the state. With this in mind, BJP intends to project itself as a decisive outfit that did what no other party could by abrogating Article 370.

The other poll plans for the saffron party will be the development undertaken in the state over the past five years, transparency in jobs and CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s own clean, unblemished image.

Post the annulment of Article 370, Khattar had courted controversy when he said "now you will be able to get girls to marry from Kashmir."

Jatland is poised for a direct between the BJP and the Congress with other political outfits, including the 2014 principal Opposition party INLD, withering away.

Interestingly, two-term CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is spearheading the Congress campaign, was one of the few Congressmen to openly support the BJP on the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.

Hooda has been a proponent of the ‘one nation one constitution’ theory. Congress leaders say the ensuing poll will be fought on local issues and the ‘misrule’ during the BJP term under Khattar as CM.

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