In Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which is currently under presidential rule after the BJP-PDP coalition state government fell, the battle is set between the NDA alliance, the UPA alliance which includes the Farooq Abdullah-led NC and the former BJP ally Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP for the 6 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs, which polled in the five phases of the Lok Sabha elections on April 11,18,23,29 and May 6.
Following the counting of votes, BJP and NC won 3 seats in the state, however, the saffron party won a huge vote share 46.6 percent.
In one of the key battles in the state, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti who has not lost an election since her entry in the political fray in 1996, contested from the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in 2019.
The key topics in the political discourse of Jammu and Kashmir varied from the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama, the issues of national security and BJP's poll plank of abrogating Article 370, which subsequently was not appreciated by the former Chief Ministers of the state Omar Abdullah of the NC and Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP. In the aftermath of controversy that broke over BJP’s promise of abrogating Article 370 and 35A, the NC chief also called for 'separate Prime Minister and President for J&K'. Two of the most politically vocal leaders, both Mufti and Abdullah spoke on the dominant controversies during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls including Prime Minister's remarks on the Balakot airstrike and other issues.This election also witness massive backlash against the Election Commission by the regional parties over not announcing the Assembly Elections in the state during the time of announcement of the dates of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Amidst huge security arrangements, calls for election boycott, slight incidents of violence, the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir concluded on May 6 after polling in the first five phases. As per reports, while Jammu and Ladakh saw increased voter turnout, Kashmir valley witnessed one of the worst turnouts in the recent decades. 2019 saw overall lesser voter turnout(44.51%), as compared to 49.52% in 2014.
In the 2014 General elections, J&K had a voter turnout of 49.5% in all phases, and ended up forming a coalition government with BJP and PDP winning 3 seats each. UPA was reduced to zero in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, following the death of CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed after nine months in office, disagreements came out in the open between the political parties. While Governor’s rule was imposed in the state for a brief period of time, Mufti’s daughter, Mehbooba Mufti, reached an agreement with the BJP and sworn in as the state’s first female chief minister in April 2016. However, months later, BJP withdrew its support to the party, and governor’s rule was imposed again.
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