Old parties need to introspect, newest ones cannot be written off

JK News Today Analysis

Jammu, December 24:

The party-wise performance in the just concluded District Development polls in Jammu and Kashmir tells a story of its own.

Eighty-two year-old National Conference – the oldest political party of Kashmir won 67 seats with 16.46 per cent of 28, 55, 509 total votes counted, while nine- month old, Jammu Kashmir Apni Party, the youngest one , won 12 seats with 5.3 per cent of the votes.

Going by the age of these two parties the gap in the vote percentage and seats should have been much higher.

The dynamic of the counting of seats, vote share is a good academic exercise, but it doesn’t reflect the complete picture of the voters’ mood. There is yet another example of this, 21-year-old PDP has won 27 seats with just 3.96 percent votes.

The formula of votes percentage and number of seats works while making governments and electing heads of other democratic institutions. But it is also important to know where the parties stand on their issues and and whether they change their stand with the change of the situations.
BJP did well despite polarization and anti-incumbency

BJP, going by the number of seats (75) and vote share of 24.82 vote percent. The party has not performed as per its past performance. It could have done better.

It should also be recognized that the party was fighting against almost united opposition. There was anti-BJP thrust in the campaign in the Valley – despite that it won three seats from there.
The BJP, though not ruling in J&K, also faced the anti-incumbency factor . The party, after withdrawing support to the PDP ked coalition government in June 2018, drew its power from Delhi. The BJP government at the centre had been supporting BJP all along. The party leaders in J&K also behaved as if they were running affairs of the government. That anti-incumbency factor also came into play, which the political commentators have not attempted to analyze.

Ironically the party fuelled its anti-incumbency factor by talking of its performance- of course the party’s leaders were having nothing to talk about their individual or collective performance. They were partners in the government for more than three years, but they drew their power from the Centre. The boast of being in power worked against them. They got the vote in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government’s work.

The issues, geography and community mindset matter, and going by the age and circumstances, it is time that the old should introspect what went wrong, while the new ones should work to do better on the ground. No party can ever be written off. If age would have been the consideration, Congress that will complete its 135th year of birth on December 28, should have been the single largest party, instead generations younger BJP did the best in these polls.