SRINAGAR: In a first, the BJP on Wednesday staged a Tiranga rally in the sensitive and volatile Sopore — the hometown of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani — in Baramulla district.
BJP general secretary and J&K affairs in-charge Vibodh Gupta led the Tiranga rally on a tonga (two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle) from Malbugh to Goodwill school in Sopore, with party leaders and workers chanting pro-India, pro-BJP and pro-Modi slogans.
The rally was held in support of the BJP candidate for the DDC elections. Sopore is a hotbed of militancy and witnessed many fierce gunfights between militants and forces. Being the hometown of Geelani, who in June quit the Hurriyat Conference, it has also remained the stronghold of separatists.
Gupta termed the day as “very historic” for Jammu and Kashmir. “Sopore is known for two things — apple (trade) and Hurriyat,” he said. Holding the rally in the town was a significant development, Gupta said, adding that in Geelani’s Sopore, BJP workers and leaders are moving freely.