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Former J-K MLC Shahnaz Ganai joins BJP at party headquarters in New Delhi

Jammu and Kashmir: On Monday, Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, former Jammu and Kashmir MLC Shahnaz Ganai from Poonch district joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at party headquarters in New Delhi, in the presence of Union minister Jitendra Singh and MP Tarun Chugh.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Jammu and Kashmir: On Monday, Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, former Jammu and Kashmir MLC Shahnaz Ganai from Poonch district joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at party headquarters in New Delhi, in the presence of Union minister Jitendra Singh and MP Tarun Chugh.

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She was a highly regarded and influential figure in Jammu and Kashmir’s political landscape. The move comes just days after Parliament passed a Bill granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Pahari ethnic tribe predominantly based in the Pir Panjal region, comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts.

Ganai, previously a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) representing the National Conference (NC). Ganai had welcomed the move, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the J&K Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act, saying it will “pull oppressed Paharis out of the clutches of oppressors”.

She is known for her unwavering dedication to public service and tireless advocacy for the welfare of the people. Ganai follows in the footsteps of other prominent Pahari leaders to have joined the BJP recently, including Abdul Qayoom Mir and Iqbal Malik. Sources said others too may be crossing over to the party in the coming days.

She opted to join the BJP, emphasising the party’s consistent dedication to fulfilling its pledges to the people of India. The daughter of deceased NC leader and former minister Ghulam Ahmed Ganai, Shahnaz Ganai hails from Mandi area of Poonch and was elected to the Legislative Council against the panchayat quota in 2013, completing her term in 2018.

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It was the first time a woman doctor had become a legislator in the erstwhile J&K state. She particularly pointed out the recent significant milestone of obtaining long-awaited reservations for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) community in Jammu and Kashmir as a tangible example of the BJP’s commitment to addressing the requirements and aspirations of all sections of society.

Ganai said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done a lot of good work for people and she has been impressed with his philosophy of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’. The other prominent Pahari leaders to join the BJP, Mir and Malik, are both members of the Rajouri District Development Board.

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