BJP perceives positives in Kashmir turnout; SC pulls up party over anti-TMC ads | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP perceives positives in Kashmir turnout; SC pulls up party over anti-TMC ads

May 28, 2024 10:06 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the record voter turnout in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency and called it a “vibrant testament” to “democratic spirit”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not contest any of the three seats in the Kashmir Valley but the party perceives the higher voter turnout there as an indicator of support to democratic processes and its policies. On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to the record voter turnout in the Anantnag-Rajouri constituency and called it a “vibrant testament” to “democratic spirit”.

The BJP perceives the higher turnout as a sign of the acceptance of the abrogation of the Constitution’s Article 370. (PTI/Representative)
The BJP perceives the higher turnout as a sign of the acceptance of the abrogation of the Constitution’s Article 370. (PTI/Representative)

Carved out after a delimitation exercise in 2022 and spread across both Jammu and Kashmir regions, the seat that went to polls on May 25 recorded 55.40% turnout. A similar turnout was recorded in the other two seats in the Valley—Srinagar and Baramulla (38.49% and 59.1%). It was the highest in the last three decades. The other two seats in the Jammu region—Udhampur and Jammu— recorded 68.27% and 72.22% turnout.

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The BJP perceives the higher turnout as a sign of the acceptance of the abrogation of the Constitution’s Article 370. Modi earlier said the BJP’s target of winning 370 seats in the Lok Sabha would be a fitting homage to ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who led a campaign against Article 370.

In 2019, Parliament passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, which read down Article 370 that gave special status to the region. It also led to the bifurcation of the state into two Union territories. Regional parties opposed the move but BJP has maintained the changes have had a positive impact with more investment flowing in.

The BJP is equally aware of the sentiment for the restoration of statehood and dismay over the delay in assembly polls. Jammu and Kashmir has been without an elected government since the collapse of the BJP-Peoples Democratic Party coalition in 2016. The Supreme Court has directed ensuring that assembly polls are held in the Union territory by September.

BJP advertisements

The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the BJP’s advertisements against the Trinamool Congress (TMC), dubbing them prima facie disparaging. It said the BJP can promote itself and claim to be the best, but cannot cause acrimony. The court said the advertisements were not in the interest of the voters. It added that political rivals are not enemies.

The Calcutta high court earlier pulled up the Election Commission of India for its inaction regarding the TMC’s complaints against the advertisements. The TMC alleged the ads were slanderous and violated the Model Code of Conduct.

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