J&K exit polls project PDP as main loser

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 5/20/2019 4:00:18 PM

JAMMU, May 19: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has emerged as the main loser in almost all exit polls for the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir though the number of seats projected to be won by BJP, National Conference varies in different opinion polls.
India Today- Axis My India: J&K polls has predicted two to three seats for both BJP and National Conference. In its polls, while it has projected that even Congress may win one seat, PDP is likely to draw blank.
However, one opinion poll predicted three seats for BJP ad one seat each for Congress, NC and PDP.
Another poll predicted BJP to win two seats, Congress one and the National Conference all the three seats of the Valley.
Yet according to majority of exit polls, the PDP is likely to lose from all three seats of Kashmir.
It would be a big blow to former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti if the PDP isn’t able to manage a win in a single seat in Kashmir. Mehbooba is herself contesting from South Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency.
The NC and the PDP didn’t contest from Jammu fearing it would divide the secular vote and benefit Congress. 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.
Later in 2014, in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls, the PDP had won 28 seats and emerged as the single largest party. The BJP won 25 seats in the 87-seat Assembly. Both the parties came together and formed an alliance government in the state in March 2015. The alliance, however, didn’t work due to inherent contradictions between the PDP and the BJP.
On June 19, 2018, the BJP withdrew its support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition government and with it Governor’s Rule was imposed in the State. Later in November 2018, the State Assembly which was in suspended animation was dissolved after the PDP, supported by the Congress and National Conference, staked claim to form the government.
Though several political parties pitched for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state, the Election Commission of India didn’t conduct the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls along with the Lok Sabha polls citing security reasons. The participation in the parliamentary polls in Kashmir region remained low.
As the polls in the Anantnag constituency comprising South Kashmir’s four districts --Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, and Pulwama -- were held in three phases, in the first phase, the polls were held in Anantnag district on April 23 and 13 percent polling was recorded. In the second phase, held in Kulgam on April 29, 11 percent polling took place, and in the third and last phase today in Shopian and Pulwama 2.64 percent polling was recorded, which is the lowest ever in the electoral history of Jammu and Kashmir.
The National Conference will be satisfied with the opinion polls. As the party remained in alliance with Congress previously, the Congress’s performance in the opinion polls would be seen positive by the party. If the opinion poll predictions turn out true then both the Congress and NC have chances to emerge stronger in the Assembly polls whenever they are held.
The 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.
The state did cast its votes in 5 phases i.e. 11, 18, 23, 29, May 6. Key issues remained Article 35A, restoration of autonomy self-rule, rights to west Pakistan Refugees, the return of power projects.
As per one projection, BJP to get 33 per cent of vote share Congress may secure 28 per cent of vote share National Conference likely to get 14 per cent of vote share Peoples Democratic Party to get 11 per cent vote share.



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