But with the BJP winning three out of six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir in the general elections, the political landscape in the state has drastically changed. The topic of BJP’s ‘Mission 44-plus’ in Jammu and Kashmir has now become quite common during political discussions.

With the BJP still riding high on their stunning Lok Sabha showing, is the Mission 44-plus really feasible?

The recent trends and developments say ‘yes’, however, after brooding over the times gone by, the BJP may have to work out of the skins to accomplish their audacious goals in the valley.

The BJP currently has 11 legislators in the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and it aims to cross the magic number of 44 to form government for the first time ever in the state.

Political experts believe that forming government on its own in the state may be a goal far too stretched for BJP but it is still expected to increase its tally in the state assembly. Nothing can be ruled out so far, especially considering higher anti-incumbency against the ruling dispensation.

In Amit Shah, the BJP has an able leader, who is credited for party’s fantastic showing in the Lok Sabha elections in UP where it won a staggering 71 out of 80 seats.

Shah is well-known in the political circles for his organizational skills, motivational prowess and astute planning. If the BJP president manages to once again get his moves spot on in the state then the probability of Kashmir embracing the saffron will definitely increase.

Shah’s strategy in Jammu and Kashmir is believed to focus around the division of majority Muslim votes between the ruling National Conference (NC) and Mehbooba Mufti’s People Democratic Party (PDP).

The BJP is said to be keen on tying up with several small but effectual stakeholders and Independents in the state.

The BJP has always been a beneficiary of the Hindu votes in Jammu and Kashmir for a long time, and the party could well take the separatist boycott of the polls to its advantage as lesser the number of Muslims in the valley would vote, more would be the chances of the saffron party to form government here. 

BJP eyeing magic number of 44 to form government in J&K
BJP currently has 11 legislators in the 87-member J&K assembly
The saffron party banking on stupendous showing in Lok Sabha polls
Political experts tip BJP to do well in assembly elections in the state
BJP also relying on anti-incumbency factor against the NC govt in the state
The ruling party may benefit from separatist-sponsored poll boycott
BJP chalking out strategies to win more seats in the Kashmir valley
BJP currently has 11 members in the state Legislative Assembly

In fact, political scientists are of the opinion that the cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan by the Narendra Modi government is being seen as a step to consolidate its Hindu vote banks in the state and isn’t necessarily a diplomatic decision.

The BJP has always done well in the Hindu majority region of Jammu where the party won 11 out of 37 assembly seats in 2008 in the region on the backdrop of the controversy over the Amarnath Yatra.

However, for the BJP to form government in the state, it would have to do well on the 46 seats in the valley where it has no base at all as of now. The party is also expected to perform well in the four constituencies of the Ladakh region.

While the party would be banking on the Kashmiri Pandit votes in the valley, it may well hinge its hopes on the separatist-sponsored election boycott.

Low Muslim turnout, Kashmiri Pandits’ support to party and others batting fervently for the BJP altogether could auger well for the BJP’s hope of forming the government in the state.

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