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All eyes now on parliamentary poll results

Lok Sabha elections in J&K turned out to be record breaking as far as poll percentage is concerned
12:00 AM May 29, 2024 IST | ZAHOOR MALIK
all eyes now on parliamentary poll results

After the record breaking parliamentary polls in Jammu and Kashmir, all eyes are now on June 4, the election result day.


Right now leaders, workers, and supporters of all political parties are taking rest after several weeks of hectic and extensive poll campaigning, and subsequent polling. There is almost a complete silence on the political front at present. No fresh statements, interviews or speeches are being made. However, the leaders at their own levels are analysing the feedback received from their supporters on polling days and also the poll percentage of each assembly segment of the parliamentary constituencies. By doing so they want to get a rough idea whether their respective parties have any chance to win or not. But ultimately everything will get clear on the result day.


As was being expected, the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Jammu and Kashmir turned out to be a record breaking electoral exercise as far as poll percentage is concerned.


This is so because such important elections were held for the first time in a drastically changed political and geographical atmosphere after the August 5, 2019 decisions and delimitation of the constituencies. Secondly, the contesting parties fought tooth and nail to claim or reclaim their electoral politics space on the ground amid the changes.


Jammu and Kashmir is having only five Lok Sabha constituencies now instead of the six earlier as Ladakh was made a separate union territory. Even then the focus and interest at national level remained on the polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The record voter turn out in J&K was hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. They particularly lauded the people. Home minister in a latest interview said that after the successful parliamentary polls, the next step is holding assembly elections and later restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.


Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said that Election Commission of India (ECI) is very encouraged by J&K people’s participation in the parliamentary polls. He added that ECI will “very soon” initiate the process of holding assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir as the people deserve their government.


Records were broken one after the other as the polling was held in Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag-Rajouri constituencies on May 13, May 20 and May 25 respectively. This indicates increasing importance of the vote after the August 5, 2019 decisions of government of India on Jammu and Kashmir.


The credit for high poll percentage goes to all those involved in the electoral process particularly the people who came out in large numbers to vote. Almost all political parties - whether traditional or the recent - did extensive campaigning and motivated the voters to come to the polling stations in large numbers to exercise their democratic right. The election authorities and the government machinery also played their required role.

With Election Commission of India announcing to hold assembly polls soon in J&K, the political parties will not get enough time to rest. They will have to come to election mode again immediately after the Lok Sabha poll results. The parties are to begin preparations for the crucial and much awaited polls. Last assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2014.

Since the parliamentary and assembly polls are fought differently so the strategies of the political parties too will be different.

The new political parties will work further hard to create an impact for assembly polls. “Apni Party is a new party and our thrust will be more on assembly polls. Parliamentary polls gave us an idea about our strength and weakness. We will work more hard to consolidate our position,” said Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, President Apni Party.

For keeping themselves relevant in the fast changing political scenario, the traditional parties too would like to move beyond raising of emotional issues. They will have to come forward with effective programmes and policies to deal with the problems of common people particularly the youth. Growing unemployment, inflation, power crisis and other related problems need to be addressed. The voters during assembly polls can grill these parties for their performances during their rule in the past. With a huge crop of new and young voters emerging on scene, both the traditional and new parties will have to come forward with something concrete for their welfare.

“Mehbooba Mufti ji will have to give up the politics of dramatising things, which she started in 1998. She has to do the politics of truth and reality now as there is no scope for the politics of deceit and exploitation now,” said Altaf Bukhari, while reacting to Mehbooba’s allegation that large number of PDP workers were detained during the polling for Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency on May 25. She had described it as tactical rigging to stop her from winning, and help the BJP’s like minded party. Police had denied the allegations of Mehbooba. “Firstly, detentions are very few and restricted only to those who have a tainted past and based on credible inputs of potential threats to law and order and security on polling day. Mostly they are over ground workers (OGWs) and are taken into preventive custody for ensuring a safe and peaceful election,” police said in its statement. Similar allegations regarding detention of its workers were also levelled by National Conference when polling was held for Srinagar and Baramulla constituencies on May 13 and May 20 respectively. Police at that time also had refuted the allegations.

BJP had not fielded candidates for the three parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir saying it would first like to win the hearts of people in the Valley. However, it has now announced to contest assembly polls in Kashmir with full strength. Like in the past, the party will field candidates and may also go for an electoral alliance with the like minded parties.

Author is senior editor, Greater Kashmir