Without any doubt, the “Modi- juggernaut” marauded the opponents, and single-handedly catapulted “BJP” to numero-uno among all the political parties of India. For the first time it got absolute majority on its own.
But J&K is different. It has always been so.
With Muslims constituting around 70% of the total population of J&K, and keeping in mind that Islam and politics are intertwined in Muslim World, it is but obvious, that those political parties that will pitch the Islam-rhetoric, though subtly will garner maximum number of Muslim votes. And Kashmir-based mainstream political parties know this well, that is why PDP MLA Peerzada Mansoor, in a rally attended by Muslims, said that only a Muslim can become the chief minister of J&K.
It has always been a battle of Muslim hegemony against Hindu-minorities in the state of J&K. Even the mainstream political parties like NC and PDP have been playing the Muslim-card not only to woo Muslim voters but also tacitly show their supporters, their will and power to subdue Hindus Politically.
The J&k mainstream political parties have been like this since their inception, and it is unlikely that they will change in the future.
But what about BJP! Are they perusing what they had been projecting all along! The answer is a big “NO”. Though most Hindus in J&K are the ardent supporters of BJP and it looks like, they will get around 80% of the Jammu seats, But I fear they may not do so well in Kashmir Valley. Garnering more seats in Kashmir may be good for the party, but, at no cost, should they compromise on their ideology.
Abrogation of article 370 has always been projected by BJP to their supporters as a top most priority , It is a bit disappointing to see that they have fielded candidates , who have vocally opposed the abrogation of this act, like Dr. Hina Bhat from Amira kadal constituency.She had brazenly spoken against the abrogation of article 370 by saying that she will pick up a gun if Article 370 is abrogated. It is confusing for the voters to ascertain whether BJP is sticking to its plan to abrogate article 370 or not!! With one phase already over, it is intriguing to see that BJP has not yet come out with their election manifesto.
Also the inclusion of the known sympathizers of Separatists like Engineer Rashid and Sajjad lone has not given good vibes to their traditional vote bank.
Many intellectuals are of the view that it was BJP, that gave birth to PDP when they were in power in center. To end the supremacy of the NC, It is opined by some that BJP created another party(PDP), that was more communal than NC, just to split the muslim votes. These very intellectuals are of the view that the bonhomie between BJP and Separatist-sympathizers like Engineer Rashid and Sajjad lone, is in continuation of their policy to scatter more conservative Muslim votes and thereby weaken all the Muslim-dependant political parties.
It is also opined that BJP is focusing more on Shias and theMuslim- Gurjars of J&K. The shias constitute 20% of the Muslim –world-Population. But in J&k they are not more than 10% of the total population of Kashmir valley, whereas, The Muslim-Gurjars constitute around 20% of the total population of J&K. Both Shias and the Gurjars have been marginalized by the Kashmir-Based-politicians and have been treated as second-hand citizens since many centuries.
These two groups will prove to be the Kingmakers of the J&K elections. Focusing on these two groups will give BJP their first ever legislative assembly seat in Kashmir. With more that 70% voting in the first phase of elections, the voting trend is a precursor that the voting %age will surpass that of 2008- statistics .It looks like that, BJP will benefit, as people have voted against the ruling coalition of NC-Congress(i). It will be the PDP and BJP that will benefit for the huge turnout of the voting.
With Election-pundits predicting more than 30 seats in J&K, BJP may this time emerge as the single largest party of J&K and may form its government for the first time, On their own or with the support of one of the mainstream Kashmir-based political party. Whatever they do, they must retain their core ideology…