The Bold Voice of J&K

J-K witnessed fractured mandate, killer floods in 2014

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Amitbhai Anilchandra “Amit” Shah,President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Srinagar: A political churning which saw BJP making significant gains in assembly elections and a natural disaster in the form of unprecedented floods marked the year 2014 for Jammu and Kashmir.

The elections to the 87-member state assembly, which were held in the aftermath of the floods which left nearly 300 people dead and thousands homeless, were widely watched as the electorate — especially in Kashmir — broke voter turnout records of over 27 years.

However, a highly fractured mandate in which no political party was able to cross the 44-seat mark required to form the government, has been a dampener.

PDP emerged as the single largest party with 28 seats followed closely by BJP which recorded its best-ever showing in the state with victory in 25 seats.

However, BJP’s quest for power in the state on its own came a cropper as it failed to open account in the valley and Ladakh region. All but one of the 34 candidates fielded by the party in the Valley lost their security deposits.

Ruling National Conference, which was almost written off before the assembly elections, won 15 seats. Congress, the coalition partner of the NC, was routed in Jammu by BJP but managed to put up a face saver by winning 12 seats.

2014 marked the end of the six-year tenure of Omar Abdullah as the chief minister of the state. Omar began his stint as the youngest chief minister of the state in January 2009, but ended it with becoming the first incumbent chief minister to lose an assembly election following his defeat to PDP green horn Mohammad Ashraf Mir from Sonawar Assembly segment.

The massive 66 per cent participation of people in the polls, last witnessed in 1987, was seen as a clear snub to the “boycott politics” propagated by separatist groups. Despite attempts by militants to derail the election process, people turned up in good numbers to choose their representatives.


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