Kashmiri voters unchanged

Kashmiri voters unchanged

Majority of the candidates losing their security deposits in Jammu and Kashmir during the recently held parliamentary polls has proved it beyond doubt that J&K people still vote for the traditional politicians.
It’s clear that the voting pattern, Kashmir and Ladakh has not changed. In 2014 people in the Valley voted for the Peoples Democratic Party which led to the party winning all the three parliamentary seats. The PDP sweeping Valley in 2014 and had made many people believe that National Conference has been written off. But in 2019 NC has bounced back by winning all the three Parliamentary seats. Voters have changed their preference instead of the PDP they went with NC. They could have gone with some other party but they preferred the “Grand Old Party” rather than reposing their faith in any new entrant.
The main contest in central Kashmir was between NC and PDP but the NC president Farooq Abdullah won the central Kashmir seat with an impressive margin.
In south Kashmir Congress candidate Ghulam Ahmed Mir made the contest interesting. The NC candidate, Retd (Justice) Hasnain Masoodi topped the table. He was followed by Mir, while the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti had to remain content with the third slot.
In north Kashmir president of Awami Ithad Party Er Rasheed bagged more than one lakh votes, while the Peoples Conference candidate, Raja Ajaz Ali also got more than one lakh votes. NC’s Akbar Lone won the seat but he had to face a tough competition. PDP couldn’t do well in north Kashmir. Akbar Lone topped the table, while Raja Ajaz Ali and Er Rasheed got the second and third slots respectively. Emergence of Peoples Conference and AIP in north is an indication that these parties in the long run can disturb the applecart of the traditional parties at least in north Kashmir, but both these parties have to work hard to make inroads in central and south Kashmir. Other candidates, including that of BJP, still have a long way to go and they would have to look for new ideas to save their security deposits in future elections.