Intro: For Jharkhand, it is a verdict signifying beginning of development, and for J&K, it is a beginning of real democratic integration.
Even in Pakistan, intellectuals on TV are discussing, now Pakistan is fighting the lost war in Jammu and Kashmir. It happens first time when free and fair election with historic participation of people is achieved in all parts of the state. In those constituencies where 3 to 5 percent voting was reached in the past, in 2014, more than 66 percent people came to the polling booths. So, India won here irrespective of vote share of parties and absence of single party majority. In Jharkhand, after 13 years, BJP got clear majority which can deliver without pull and pressure. For Jharkhand, it is a verdict to initiate development, and for J&K, it is a beginning of real democratic integration. In both the states, Modi magic cannot be denied because in one state, the leadership of Modi instilled the belief
in democracy (J&K) and in other the stability (Jharkhand).
In this election, BJP, termed as Hindu nationalist Party, got highest vote share of 23% against PDP 22.7% and NC 20.8%. More importantly, Congress though improved by 0.2% got only 18% vote share with 12 seats. BJP has now entered into power politics of the State as it is the second largest party with 25 seats. Its Mission 44+ failed but the mission to get rid of traditional family based
corrupt politics seems to be successful because in coming six years, no Party or Coalition in power can ignore the strength of BJP. However, the Party has missed a good opportunity as it has lost 9% of its support from May 2014 because BJP got more than 32% votes in 2014 Parliamentary elections. It had at least the opportunity to get all 37 seats of Jammu and 4 seats of Ladakh. If it would have happened, the Party without even getting seat in valley would have come into power on its own with minor adjustments.
Another Cover Story: Jharkhand Modified
PDP got 28 seats, exactly the number NC had in 2008 election and PDP has also not repeated its seats it got in May 2014. PDP was leading in 41 Assembly segments with 19% supports in 2014 Lok Sabha elections but this time; it got only 28 seats with 22.7% support. So, PDP has not converted the vote share effectively in seat numbers but BJP has done well in this sense. With 32% votes, BJP was leading in 25 Assembly segments in May 2014 and now with 23% votes, it got exactly the same number of 25 seats.
In Jharkhand too, BJP did not repeat the performance of May 2014 when it got 40% votes but it has clinched the clear majority with 31% vote share. BJP with its own 37 seats is forming the Government in alliance with All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) which got 5 seats. So, this alliance has comfortably reached at 42 seats out of total 81 Assembly seats. The striking feature of this election is the defeat of all heavy weight politicians including Babulal Marandi. BJP has gained more than 11% votes compared to 2009 Assembly election and Congress with Janata Parivar (RJD and JD (U)) have faced a jolt. However, since JMM has still gained 5% votes compared to 2009, it shows that BJP is yet to capture the Modi magic in tribal areas. Here there is a division of Hindu Tribes and Christian Tribes. BJP did not manage to consolidate the support among Christian Tribes only but it marked good performance among Hindu Tribes.
The stability ushers now in Jharkhand. The state, which has seen nine governments and three stints of President's rule in 14 years, gave a decisive mandate. It is a mandate based on Modi’s development promises. Therefore, it does not matter whether a tribal or a non-tribal leader happens to be Chief Minister.
Another Cover Story: Political maturity is need of hour in J&K
In Jharkhand, this election has not created separate political landscape as BJP got peoples support in all parts of the State, but it is not the case in Jammu and Kashmir. The support base of BJP and PDP, two most important Parties, is divided along fault lines of regions- Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. The result shows separate political behaviour in these three regions-BJP performed well in Jammu, PDP in Valley and Congress in Ladakh.
BJP did not get support base in Valley as it got only 2.24% vote share and PDP performed poor in Jammu where it got only 11% votes with three seats. Congress’ performance in Ladakh is startling as it got more than 49% votes here, but in Jammu and Valley it got 21% and 12% respectively. The Congress’s remaining five seats came in Jammu region, all from Muslim-dominated seats. It failed to win a single seat in the Hindu-majority areas of Jammu. All the party ministers from Jammu’s Hindu-majority areas lost. No Hindu candidate of Congress won the election, but BJP’s one Muslim candidate, Abdul Gani Kohli won Kalakote Assembly seat of Rajouri district.
This election in J&K was more for political survival of Kashmiri separatists. The boycott calls issued by the various Kashmiri separatists were feeble and Modi’s magic again led to the higher voter turnout in Kashmir. The campaign by Prime Minister and other leaders across the state failed the separatists in the state. This is true victory for which Modi must be given credit.
Naveen Kumar (The writer is a senior political analyst & VP of Viplab Communications Pvt. Ltd.)