2002 Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly election

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2002 Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections

← 1996 16 September 2002 to 8 October 2002 2008 →

all 87 seats in Legislative Assembly
44 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Farooq Abdullah.jpg Ghulam Nabi Azad-cropped.JPG Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.jpg
Leader Farooq Abdullah Ghulam Nabi Azad Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Last election 57 7 -
Seats won 28 20 16
Seat change Decrease 29 Increase 13 Increase 16

  Fourth party Fifth party
  Indian Election Symbol Cycle.png
Leader Bhim Singh
Last election 1 8
Seats won 4 1
Seat change Increase 3 Decrease 7

Chief Minister before election

Farooq Abdullah

Elected Chief Minister

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
(in coalition with the INC and JKNPP)

Elections for the former Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir were held in September -October 2002 in four phases.[1][2]

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference was the single largest party but lacked majority. The Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Indian National Congress (Congress) formed a coalition government with PDP's Mufti Mohammad Sayeed serving as the Chief Minister for the first three years and Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad for the next three years.[3][4] The Panthers Party formed part of the ruling coalition with Harsh Dev Singh as the party's first cabinet minister.[5]

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were used for first time in Jammu Kashmir assembly elections in 2002.[6] The international community also appreciated the credibility of the elections and the results that followed it. The elections was seen as a victory of the ballot over the bullet.[7][8] United States lauded 2002 elections of the state.[9][10] There were 1.7 million voters in the state for 2002 elections.[11][12]


Voting stages

The first phase voting took place on 16 September 2002.[13] There was a polling station for just 11 voters in Zanskar.[6] BJP contested on 52 seats while Jammu State Morcha contested on 12 seats.[14][15] National Conference president Omar Abdullah contested from Ganderbal seat.[16] Separatists had varied views on the elections ranging from voting to boycott of elections.[17][18][19]

The four stages of the elections were held as follows:

Date Seats Turnout
Monday 16 September 23 47.28%
Sunday 24 November 28 42%
Sunday 1 October 5 41%
Sunday 8 October 18 46%
Total 87 45%


The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference lost significant support with its number of seats coming down from 57 to 28. The Indian National Congress gained from 7 seats earlier to 20. But the significant gainer was Mufti Mohammad Syed's People's Democratic Party (PDP) winning 16 seats for the first time. After the election, Congress and PDP formed a coalition government. It was agreed Mufti Mohammad Syed would be the Chief Minister for the first three years and the Congress party's Ghulam Nabi Azad would serve for the next three years. This was the first time Congress came to power after Syed Mir Qasim in 1975.[21]

The Bharatiya Janata Party won just one seat, down from 8 seats it held earlier. It faced competition in Jammu from the Jammu Mukti Morcha, a party backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which called for a trifurcation of the state (into Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh as separate states).[21]


  1. ^ "J&K election in four phases on Sep 16, 24, Oct 1, 8"
  2. ^ 2002 J&K Assembly elections
  3. ^ http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/insights/insight20021030.html
  4. ^ Hussain, Aijaz (14 November 2005). "Ghulam Nabi Azad becomes first Congress CM of Jammu & Kashmir in 30 years". India Today. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Sayeed sworn-in as J&K chief minister". Rediff. 2 November 2002. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b Polling station for just 11 voters in Zanskar constituency
  7. ^ 47.2% polling recorded in first phase of J&K poll
  8. ^ 44 per cent turnout in 1st phase of J&K polls
  9. ^ Infiltration across LoC has increased: US
  10. ^ United States lauded 2002 elections
  11. ^ J&K electoral rolls not '100 per cent accurate'
  12. ^ Sonia calls for a 'final solution' to Kashmir problem
  13. ^ Militants attack school in Udhampur, 2 killed
  14. ^ BJP to contest 52 seats in J&K
  15. ^ Discuss J&K problem only with elected representatives: BJP
  16. ^ Omar Abdullah files nomination papers from Ganderbal
  17. ^ Hurriyat has told supporters to vote against National Conference
  18. ^ Shabbi Shah boycott
  19. ^ J&K polling figure rises by over 3 per cent
  20. ^ "7-phase poll in J&K from November 17", Rediff India, 2008-10-19, accessed on 2008-12-30
  21. ^ a b Manoj Joshi, The BJP has scuttled the Kashmir coalition, Observer Research Foundation, 20 June 2018.