What does LS result in Kashmir hold for Assembly polls?

JK govt formation: Mehbooba 'amused' by speculations of PDP-Congress alliance

Will the outcome of LokSabha election in Kashmir have any bearing on J&K Assembly polls which are long overdue? The election saw two major political players, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and grand old party Congress getting almost decimated on the Valley’s electoral turf.

On the other hand independent MLA Er Rashid stunned his opponents with his performance while as state’s oldest party National Conference made a comeback, winning all three parliament seats.

But it is the number of Assembly segments won or lost by these parties that has made the poll arithmetic interesting in context to the upcoming state elections.

While a win in an Assembly segment boosts morale of a party, a loss certainly dampens the spirits.

Take the example of the PDP. In the Valley, consisting of 46 Assembly segments, the party secured lead on almost one-third Assembly pockets in the 2014 parliament polls while the remaining pockets were shared by other parties. The PDP ultimately went on to win all the three parliament constituencies.

In the Assembly election held later it emerged single largest party, winning a total of 28 assembly segments, 25 of them from Valley.

Its bête-noir National Conference had got reduced to 15 seats in the Assembly.

Today, the situation has not only reversed between NC and PDP but the election has thrown up some interesting statistics as well.

The NC has emerged single largest party, winning 30 of the 46 Assembly segments. It swept polls in Srinagar constituency comprising of 15 segments and won eight and seven segments in Baramulla and Anantnag constituencies respectively.

The independent MLA Er Rashid, who is literally a one-man party, stunned everyone by taking a lead in five Assembly segments and almost securing the No. 2 position.

This time, however, the PDP could manage leads only in four segments in south Kashmir. It drew blank in both north and central Kashmir constituencies.

The Congress too won only four pockets while as SajadLone’s Peoples Conference managed lead on just two segments.

The BJP’s solitary win in Tral Assembly segment was the party’s best ever performance in Kashmir where it has struggled to make any inroads on the electoral turf.

“If the past trends are any indication then the outcome of the LokSabha is a boost for National Conference. But at the same time the poll outcome is a huge worry for the PDP,” said a political observer.

The PDP has seen one after another problem confronting it in the past five years. From an “unholy alliance” with BJP to shocking loss of power in June 2018 and later a rebellion that shook the party’s base, one after another, the problems haunted the PDP to the extent that Mehbooba Mufti’s leadership had come under question.

On the other hand it remains to be seen whether Independent MLA Rashid will be able to repeat its performance in the state election. And how will other parties who fared poorly perform in the state elections.