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Jammu and Kashmir election result 2019: BJP expected to retain its turf, JKNC likely to get a similar share Lok Sabha Election Results 2019
5/23/2019 9:10:20 AM

In Jammu and Kashmir, where the 2019 polls were marred by low voter turnout, the BJP seems on course to retaining its hard-won turf in the previous general elections. The India Today-Axis My India Exit Poll predicted 2-3 seats for the BJP (NDA) and a similar share for Farooq Abdullah's Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) while Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was expected to be wiped out. The Congress is predicted to win the volatile Anantnag seat, from where Mufti had contested.

The state with six Lok Sabha seats is currently under President's rule after the PDP-BJP coalition broke down when the 25-member BJP in the state withdrew its support. The 87-member state assembly was dissolved on November 21, 2018. In the 2014 general elections, the BJP-PDP alliance had won three seats each - Udhampur, Ladakh and Jammu - while PDP had bagged Anantnag, Baramulla and the Srinagar seat. The Congress-JKNC coalition had got nothing.

This time, too, the JKNC had teamed up with the Congress, mutually deciding that while the Grand Old Party will contest the Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats, JKNC will fight from Srinagar. The two parties had agreed to have a "friendly contest" over the Anantnag, Baramulla and Ladakh seats. The alliance may prove to be successful. Early trends will indicate if JKNC is leading in Srinagar and Baramulla, while Congress hopes for a win in Anantnag.

Lok Sabha Election Results 2019 LIVE Updates: Counting of votes begins

The latter, comprising four south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag, had voted in three phases - a first in India's electoral history - owing to security concerns. This seat has remained vacant since 2016, when Mufti resigned from there to become chief minister, due to volatile conditions on the ground. The Congress had fielded J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief G.A. Mir while the BJP had fielded Sofi Yousuf, one of the founding members of the saffron party in Kashmir, against Mufti in what is seen as her family's traditional stronghold.

During the campaigning phase, analysts had pointed out that the 59-year-old has taken a huge political risk by entering the electoral fray herself despite the substantial anger against her in her constituency for aligning with the BJP.

In the Jammu constituency, the JKNC and PDP had supported the Congress in a bid to avoid splitting the secular vote. In Ladakh, both the state parties decided to support independent candidate Sajjad Hussain, a journalist and activist.
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