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With best-ever tally, BJP happy to sit in opposition benches
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December 28, 2008 18:11 IST

After bagging double-figure seats in the Jammu and Kashmir [Images] assembly for the first time, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday said it is ready to play the role of a nationalist opposition and work towards capitalising on its achievements for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

"We have reason to be happy about the outcome. We have done exceedingly well in Jammu and got the highest number of seats than ever. We will play the role of a nationalist opposition in assembly," BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said.

BJP leaders said the polarisation of votes between Kashmir valley and Jammu region has helped increase its tally from one in the last assembly elections to 12 this time.

They said they will capitalise on the party's achievement for the Lok Sabha elections slated for 2009.

The saffron party ruled out even exploring possibilities of supporting any of the political parties trying to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP accused the other three major parties � the Congress, the National Conference and the People's Democratic Party of being soft on terror and of sympathising with the separatists.

"All three of them are directly or indirectly supporting separatists and terrorists," party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.

The BJP said it will keep alive the issue of discrimination by the Kashmir Valley against people of other regions in Jammu and Kashmir. "We will fight against discrimination of any region of the state, especially Leh, Ladakh and Jammu," Jaitley said.

During the Amarnath shrine land allotment agitation in September, the BJP had said it will take up as poll plank the step-brotherly treatment of the Jammu region by Kashmir allegedly due to its more share of the development funds by virtue of having more assembly seats. The Valley has 46 assembly seats while Jammu has 37.

The ploy seems to have worked with BJP increasing its seat tally from one in the last assembly to 12, all from the Jammu region.

Economic development and good governance, two of BJP's favourite poll planks, were on its radar here too.

The BJP sees the impressive voter turnout in the state as a good sign and something which has worked in its favour.

"We are happy that the people of Jammu and Kashmir came out in large numbers to vote and the separatist call of boycott was rejected by them," Jaitley said.

On PDP's tally of 20 seats, the BJP said the party's standing has come down because of the public anger at PDP for supporting the separatists during the Amarnath agitation.

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