Jammu and Kashmir polls: Massive turnout in second phase

kashmir-votingThe battle for the minds and hearts of people in India’s northern state Jammu and Kashmir has moved into a high gear, with the turnout in in the second phase of elections in the state almost equal to the first phase, with a figure of 71%.

The first phase of the elections, held on November 25, saw the highest turnout in a quarter century, with 72.1% voters casting their franchise.

The spectacular turn-out underlines the high stakes the elections has for the BJP, the ruling party at the centre, which is expected to get its highest ever tally in Jammu and Kashmir this time round.  The National Conference-Congress coalition is reeling under anti-incumbency and is set to suffer a drubbing. The People’s Democratic Party, led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, a former home minister of India, and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti, is on an upswing, latest opinion polls indicate.

“Polling has established that the people of the state especially Kashmir have seen through the game of dividing their votes to facilitate foisting a government through intrigue. The fact that overwhelming majority of people came out to vote is an indication that their mission to bring about a change was taking shape on the ground,” PDP President Mehbooba Mufti said.