ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Two More Wins

The BJP returns its best ever electoral performance in Jammu and Kashmir, and Jharkhand.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hardly put an electoral foot wrong since the assembly elections of December 2013, which were followed by its unprecedented Lok Sabha victory in May 2014. In the past, a short “honeymoon ­period” for the ruling party at the centre has been replicated in the state elections immediately thereafter and this happened in 2014 as well. After Maharashtra and Haryana, the BJP won Jharkhand easily. Though in Jammu and Kashmir it could not reach anywhere close to its publicly declared goal of crossing the majority mark of 44 seats in the assembly, it did manage to put in its best ever performance by sweeping Jammu.

Elections in Jammu and Kashmir – where the nationality question remains deeply contested and separatists continue to hold sway in the Kashmir Valley – are always a complicated affair. Since the end of armed insurgency in the Valley, electoral participation has steadily increased, even if this has not necessarily meant a rejection of the demand for azaadi. For a few years now, Kashmiris have sought to express a myriad set of opinions on the nationality question, even while using the ballot box to register their mandate on governance in the Valley. The high turnout in the recent assembly elections – 65.23% of the registered electorate voted across the regions in the state – was therefore not a surprise.

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