Anger In Valley, Modi Wave In Jammu, Ladakh Spell Doom For NC-Congress Coalition

17 May 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: The results of the parliamentary elections is Jammu and Kashmir have shown that people's anger against the coalition government over 2010 civilian killings and Afzal Guru's hanging in Kashmir, combined with Modi wave in Jammu and Ladakh regions has led to the victory of the Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and BJP, both of which bagged three seats each in the state. The PDP, which decimated the ruling National Conference by winning all the three Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir, has not only registered its lead in the 40 Assembly segments in the Valley, but also increased its vote share substantially. The PDP has been able to increase its vote share of 38.12 per cent registered in the 2009 General Elections to 46.35 per cent in the 2014 parliamentary elections, a jump of 8.38 per cent, in the Kashmir region. In contrast, the ruling National Conference, which has not been able to win even a single seat out of the three it contested in the Kashmir valley, has managed to register its lead only in five Assembly segments, out of the total 46 in the Valley, as far as the vote tally is considered. It led in three segments in Srinagar city and two segments in the Baramulla constituency. In the Jammu region, the NC-Congress coalition has managed to lead only in 11 Assembly segments, out of the total 31. The worrying factor for the NC is that its vote share in the Kashmir valley has gone down from 49.79 per cent, registered in the 2009 parliamentary polls, to 34.46 per cent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The factors for the NC's dismal performance in J&K, as conceded by Omar Abdullah himself include his government response to mass agitation in 2010 and the subsequent civilian killings by the government forces, hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, miss-governance and the euphoria the Modi wave created in Jammu and Ladakh, where the BJP won all the three seats, two in Jammu and one in Ladakh. The PDP has got 5,33,252 votes, out of the total 11,50,370 votes polled in the Kashmir valley in all the three parliamentary constituencies on May 16. The National Conference has got 3,96,433 votes in Kashmir. Baramulla: Sweeping north Kashmir's Baramulla constituency, which comprises of 15 Assembly segments, the PDP has registered its lead in 12 Assembly segments and making significant inroads into the segments which were considered NC strongholds. Here, the NC has managed to lead only in two Assembly segments of Uri and Gurez. Here PDP candidate Muzaffar Hussain Beigh won by 29,219 votes by getting 1,75,277 votes, whereas his rival and NC leader Shariefudin Shariq got 1,46,058 votes, out of the total 4,66,039 votes. Ananatnag: In south Kashmir, the PDP has swept all the 16 Assembly segments of the Ananatnag parliamentary constituency, which is spread over four districts of Ananatnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama. In Anantnag, the PDP's Mehbooba Mufti polled 2,00,429 votes, whereas her rival and senior NC leader Mehboob Beg got 1,35,012 votes, out of the total 374601 votes polled and counted. Srinagar: In the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, speared over three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal and which was considered the bastion of the NC, the PDP has been able to register its win in 12 Assembly segments. On the Srinagar seat, the NC managed its lead only in Habba Kadal, Khanyar and Amira Kadal Assembly segments in the city, surprisingly trailing behind the PDP in the Ganderbal segment held by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, where it got 10,307 votes and PDP 13,220 votes. Jammu-Poonch: In this parliamentary constituency, which has been won by the BJP, the NC-Congress coalition managed lead in only three Assembly segments. Considered a Congress stronghold, the seat was snatched by the BJP from the Congress by a considerable margin of 2,57,282 lakh votes. The Congress candidate, Madan Lal, got a total of 3,62,715 votes. Udhampur-Doda: Out of 17 Assembly segments of the Udhampur-Doda parliamentary constituency, the National Conference-Congress coalition managed lead only in eight segments. Here Union Health Minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was defeated by the BJP's Jitendra Singh by 60,976 votes. Azad got 4,26,393 votes. Ladakh: In the Ladakh parliamentary constituency, spread over four Assembly segments in two districts of Kargil and Leh, the National Conference-Congress coalition was relegated to the number four position as the Congress candidate Tsering Samphel got only 26,402 votes.