Kashmir results may redraw political alignments, hasten assembly elections

In the 2019 polls, the BJP won both seats in the Jammu region, while the NC secured all three Valley seats.
Kashmir results may redraw political alignments, hasten assembly elections

SRINAGAR: The first Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 are crucial for the region. The election results may necessitate a change in political strategy, lead to the emergence of new political equations, and determine the fate of Assembly polls in the Union Territory.

Jammu and Kashmir comprise five parliamentary seats—Udhampur and Jammu in the Jammu region, and Srinagar, Baramulla, and Anantnag-Rajouri in the Valley. In the 2019 polls, the BJP won both seats in the Jammu region, while the NC secured all three Valley seats.

After over three decades of militancy, people in Kashmir turned out in large numbers to vote. J&K witnessed a combined poll percentage of 58.11% for the five parliamentary seats, marking the highest voter turnout in the last 35 years.

As the counting of votes takes place on Tuesday, it is the D-day for contesting candidates and parties alike. The fate of 100 candidates, including Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and two former CMs, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, hangs in the balance.

Unlike 2019, when there was a Modi wave, this time the BJP is facing a serious challenge in the Udhampur seat. Union MoS PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh had won the Udhampur seat in 2019 by over 3.57 lakh votes. However, this time, even if he manages to overcome strong anti-incumbency and win, the margin of victory will likely be less.

For the three Valley seats, it will be either NC winning all three or NC securing two and PDP one. Since both NC and PDP are part of the INDIA alliance, the three seats in both scenarios will go to the INDIA alliance.

This marks the first major electoral exercise in J&K post Article 370 abrogation. If BJP loses any of the two seats or if its victory margin in both or any of the two seats decreases, it will force the party to reconsider its political strategy in the UT ahead of assembly polls.

Large turnout

After over three decades of militancy, people in Kashmir turned out in large numbers to vote. J&K witnessed a combined poll percentage of 58.11% for the five parliamentary seats, marking the highest voter turnout in the last 35 years. As the counting of votes takes place on Tuesday, it is the D-day for contesting candidates and parties alike

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