The Lok Sabha election of 2014 is historical undoubtedly. Participation of people has been unprecedented and has broken previous records, and BJP’s massive electoral victory has set new records. It’s for the first time after 1984 that a political party has got majority on its own. BJP has won 282 seats and has become the first party after independence to get the majority on its own and, for the first time, the Congress has been routed out like lever before.
Nationally BJP has emerged victorious on 52 percent seats, whereas in the state of J&K, it has emerged victorious on 50 percent of the total seats of the state. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) have routed National Conference-Congress alliance in the Jammu and Kashmir by whitewashing them on all the six Parliamentary seats.
BJP has won only 3 seats out of 6, but with the vote share of 32.4 percent (which was 18.6 percent in 2009), it has emerged as number one choice among the J&k voters. The party swept Jammu and Ladakh regions (geographically 85 percent of JK) and, the other three seats from Kashmir valley (geographically 15 percent of JK) have been won by Jammu-Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (with 20.5 percent vote share).
For the first time Jammu-Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) and the Congress party has been routed out completely. Most spectacular has been the win of BJP candidate Dr. Jintendra Singh form Udhampur seat and most realizing has been the defeat of Dr. Farooq Abdullah from Srinagar constituency. In a battle, which was considered to be most difficult, Dr. Jitendra Singh of BJP defeated Congress candidate and (then) Union minister Gulam Nabi Azad. In central Kashmir, PDP’s Tariq Hamid Karra ended the winning streak of NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah, who faced defeat for the first time in his political career. Karra won Srinagar seat by almost 42,280 votes. None of the seats from the state were won by a margin of more than 70,000 votes, except in Jammu, where, BJP’s candidate Jugal Kishor won by a margin of 2, 57,280 votes.
A little over 3 lakh people voted in Srinagar Constituency.
During public gathering and rallies, Congress and NC kept terming PDP as team B of BJP, and were found spreading among voters that every vote that will be given to PDP will be indirectly going to Modi. PDP did not counter NC throughout. And now PDP has defeated NC by winning three seats in Kashmir Valley. Even a winner like Dr. Abdullah, who has been winning from the past 32 years, was unable to defeat PDP.
Unfortunately, this time the (pseudo) secular verses communalism rant by NC and Congress did not work and the induction of (planned) bogus fear did not alter voters’ preference in the Valley. The mandate this time is therefore for the politics of hope and, is a message and warning against the propagandistic policies adopted in the state; it is a verdict against the discriminatory and divide and rule policy of governance. Apart from being saviour of secularism, NC and congress also projected themselves as protector of Article 370. But nothing really worked in their favour this time! And therefore this mandate is also against Article 370 and Kashmir’s pre 1952 status.
From the time of Bhartiya Jan Sangh(BJS), the issues related to Jammu-Kashmir have always got appropriate priority in Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP is the successor party of the BJS). Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of Bhartiya Jan Sangh, made supreme sacrifices for the true integration of Jammu-Kashmir. Hence on the status of Jammu-Kashmir, policies of BJP have always been very clear. It clearly talks about the abrogation of Article 370; and, it stands firmly against the surrender and rehabilitation policy of terrorist. Has stood for the rights of the refugees, and supports Union Territory status for Ladakh. Only belief in the policies of BJP could have won this kind of mandate and, it is time for BJP to deliver the promises and to fulfill the aspirations of the people.
-Arvind (The writer is a researcher at J&K Study Centre, New Delhi)