PM Narendra Modi and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti
According to the News Nation exit poll, of the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP is predicted to win two seats whereas the Congress, PDP, NC and others may get one seat each. It would be a big blow to former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti if the PDP manage a win only a single seat in Kashmir. Mehbooba is herself contesting from South Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency. With opinion polls showing the Congress winning one seat, it looks like the strategy to consolidate the “secular vote” has worked.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had won two seats of Jammu and one seat of Ladakh. The PDP had won all three seats of the Valley. The National Conference was not able to open its account in the state and the Congress had drawn a blank in the state.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under President’s rule since December last year and elections in the restive state have not been held for long now. Governor’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on June 19, 2018, after the state plunged into a political crisis when the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition government was reduced to a minority as the 25-member BJP in the state withdrew its support.
Here are some of the key points of Jammu and Kashmir polls:
Date of voting: April 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6
Date of counting: May 23
Ruling party/coalition in the state: Presidential rule
Number of Lok Sabha seats in the state: Six
Party wise break-up of Lok Sabha seats: PDP 1, BJP 2, NC 1, Ladakh BJP MP resigned. Ladakh MP Thupsan Chewang resigned from his seat citing personnel reason however, BJP leaders said that he was demanding Union territory status for Ladakh.
Number of voters in the state: 78,50,671
Number of assembly seats: 87
Party wise break-up of assembly seats: PDP-28, BJP-25, NC-15, Congress-12, People’s Conference-2
Key leaders across parties: Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah (NC), Mehbooba Mufti (PDP), Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress ) Sajjad Lone (People’s Conference), Jitendra Singh (BJP)
Key issues: Article 35A, restoration of autonomy self-rule, rights to west Pakistan Refugees, the return of power projects.