by Babra Wani
SRINAGAR: In a significant turn of events, the recent defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Karnataka assembly elections has evoked a sense of hope among Kashmiri politicians, who believe that this outcome may influence the scheduling of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Since the summer of 2018, the central government has been perceived as exerting remote control over the region, causing unrest among the local political leaders.
Omar Abdullah, a prominent Kashmiri politician, expressed his satisfaction over BJP’s loss in Karnataka and suggested that it would likely deter the BJP from conducting assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir anytime soon. Taking to Twitter, Abdullah wrote, “Now there is no way BJP will have the courage to allow assembly elections to take place in Jammu and Kashmir any time soon. #KarnatakaElectionResults.”
Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, congratulated the Indian National Congress (INC) for its sweeping victory in Karnataka. She acknowledged the challenging circumstances faced by the INC due to the BJP’s divisive and communal campaign, emphasizing that the people of Karnataka had rejected such divisive tactics. Mufti tweeted, “Congratulations to @INCIndia for sweeping Karnataka. Wasn’t easy given that BJP unleashed the most vicious communal campaign. The people of Karnataka have rejected division & bigotry. I hope this is the start of a new beginning for India.”
The Congress Party in Jammu and Kashmir also expressed its gratitude to the people of Karnataka for reposing their faith in the party. One of the former Chiefs of Congress in Jammu and Kashmir tweeted, “Thank you to the people of #Karnataka for reposing their faith in Congress Party.” The party headquarters witnessed jubilant celebrations soon after it became evident that the BJP had suffered a defeat.
The Congress Party emerged victorious in the recent assembly polls, successfully unseating the BJP, which had previously held 118 seats in the Karnataka assembly. Congress secured a significant victory with 135 seats, while the BJP’s tally nosedived to 66 seats. The Janta Dal secured 19 seats in the elections.
This electoral outcome in Karnataka has breathed new life into the hopes of Kashmiri politicians who yearn for the restoration of democratic processes in Jammu and Kashmir. The result has strengthened their belief that a similar transformation could take place in their region, leading to the resumption of assembly elections and a renewed democratic beginning.