Jammu & Kashmir might also vote for the BJP?
A new aspirational generation wants jobs and security.
Jammu & Kashmir is a very difficult state at any time. Now, with the latest Assembly polls and the BJP Pitching for a high stake looks like winning there in whatever forms and combinations those analysts are debating about.
First, there is the ruling coalition led by the National Conference, NC. Omar Abdullah hadn’t emerge4d as the undisputed leader this time as there are now a new set of challenges to face.
As observed have noted J & K is a beautiful state in terms of its natural charms. The clear crisp air, the blue sky, the clear streams and the green poplars one associates with the Valley once you land up in Srinagar you see the after effects of the floods that had devastated the state.
Now, the people are in a mood for change. Though twice before the state had gone for elections this time it was a different story. The voter turnout was huge, exceeding 70 per cent and this indicated the people are fed up with their lot so far and now they wanted a change.
Who can provide the change, except the all-powerful Mr.Narendra Modi?
So, there is expectation that a new change might come and new hope, a new dawn might emerge. The India-Pakistan story is left behind, it seems. Everyone is talking about who would get and what number of seats.
The new stars arte the PDP, the one party led by a much respected Mufti Mohammen Saif and his able draught cum politician of some reputation Mehbooba Mufti. It is noted that the large voter turnout could be attributed to three factors.
One, There is no fear that the elections would be rigged and the credit goes to Atal Behari Vajpayee who had held free and fair polls in 2002. Two, people see the elections as a sure way of effecting change to separate their grievances and their own aspirations.
This time, the grievances are kept aside and the aspirations are given effect. It seems like that. Otherwise why so much enthusiasm and also the courageous turnout?
Yes, everyone has grievances, bread, butter demands, the most impotent is also the aspirations for jobs, good jobs as the education and age factors kick in for the new generation of the Kashmiri youth.
The third factor, the most important and also the latest reaction is for the counter-polarisation.
The large turnout is the outcome of the reaction to the polarisation that is taking place in Jammu in favour of the BJP and so the counter-polarisation here in Kashmir Valley1
Though, the militating Hurriyat gave a call to the boycott of the polls, even the Hurriyat indirectly encouraged the counter-polarisation and hence the large voter turnout, observes point out.
The goal is to see that the BJP doesn’t form a government in the state. Whether this calculation will work out in the way the Hurriyat wants is another question.
How the seats might be partitioned?
The BJP hoped that at least two or three of its candidates, supported by the Kashmiri Pandit pockets of strength might scrape through.
There are indications this time that people plump for a real change. The PDP is doing well. In the Valley which accounts for 48 seats. And the BJP doing well in the Jammu region with 37 seats. The BJP and the Congress might be evenly divided in ladakh with four seats. If the Congress gets a dozen seats and the PDP with 30-35 seats can form the government. Mufti Mohammad Sayed could become the Chief Minister who has some 50 years of political experience in the state and he also knows the corridors of power in Delhi.
But will the BJP be ready to play the second fiddle?
Given its strategies in other states, it always wants to dominate or nudge the parties to fall in line with its own aggressive twitch for hegemony.
We have to wait and see how this time the J & KI state manages to give the people a stable and also a development-oriented economic strategy
Let us hope that the very troubled state gets a new chapter of real progress and security to its people.