As the BJP creates history by registering a landside victory in the Lok Sabha elections, It has also managed to retain its claim of Jammu region in Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP candidates from the two Lok Sabha seats of the Jammu region are set to get re-elected as they are leading by a huge margin. Union Minister and party’s candidate from Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency Dr Jitender Singh was leading by a margin of over 3 lakh votes at the time of filing of this report.
Similarly, BJP’s nominee from Jammu Lok Sabha seat Jugal Kishore Sharma was also leading by a margin of over 2.5 lakh votes.
Not only are the BJP candidates winning, but their victory margin has also seen a big jump compared to 2014 elections. The political analysts say that while there was anti-incumbency against the incumbent MPs from Jammu region, the Modi magic changed the equation in their favour. “The people voted for PM Modi and not the BJP candidates in Jammu region”, said a political analyst.
Despite an electoral understanding between the Congress and NC in J&K, the opposition candidates failed to defeat the BJP nominees. As per the seat sharing agreement between the two parties, the NC had supported Congress’ candidates in both Jammu and Udhampur seats.
Interestingly, the PDP had also decided not to field any candidate from the two seats of Jammu region to avoid split in anti-BJP votes. But the Modi magic prevailed in the end and the opposition’s strategy failed to yield the desired results for them in Jammu region.
The BJP’s promise to repeal Article 370 and 35A in their election manifesto also seems to have struck a chord with the masses in Jammu region. During the election campaign, the Kashmir-centric parties like NC and PDP had resorted to politics of blackmail over the issue of Article 370 and 35A.
Both the parties had warned that if Article 370 and 35A are touched, then J&K will cease to be a part of India. The pro-separatist rhetoric of NC and PDP is believed to have annoyed the people of Jammu region and that’s why they chose to vote in favour of the BJP.
On Thursday, as the early trends suggested a massive victory of the BJP in Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party activists erupted in joy and were seen celebrating the win across Jammu region. “We are so happy today with the results. Now, we are hopeful that Modi government will scrap Article 370 and 35A”, said a jubilant party worker in Kathua.
With the assembly elections also due in J&K, the BJP will have to walk the talk on the issue of Article 370 and 35A, otherwise, the saffron party may have to bear the brunt of the anger of the people in Jammu region during the state elections.
Meanwhile, it’s not just the Jammu region, the saffron is also set to bloom in Ladakh region. The BJP candidate from the lone Lok Sabha seat from Ladakh region, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, was also leading by a narrow margin of over 9000 votes.
In 2014, the BJP had won Ladakh Lok Sabha seat by a very narrow margin of just 36 votes.
The saffron party has repeated its 2014 performance in Jammu and Kashmir by winning three seats of the state. Just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Governor’s administration in J&K had given division status to Ladakh and also sanctioned a university for the region.
The political pundits say that this seems to have worked in BJP’s favour coupled with the Modi magic. During the campaigning, the BJP had also promised to grant Union Territory status to Ladakh.