Elections in Jammu and Kashmir

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A voter coming out after casting his vote from a polling booth of Budgam during the 4th Phase of General Election 2009 on 7 May 2009. (The raised finger indicates the indelible ink from voting)

Elections in Jammu and Kashmir include elections to the Parliament of India, both houses of the bicameral state legislature, and various other local level bodies such as municipalities and Panchayat constituencies. The legal authority to conduct elections in Jammu and Kashmir is drawn from provisions in both the Constitution of India and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.[1]

There are 87 assembly constituencies and 6 Lok sabha constituencies (parliamentary constituencies).[2][3] Legislative assembly elections have been held 11 times in the state since 1951 whereas Parliamentary elections have been held 12 times since 1967. Municipal elections have been held in the state only four times since 1947, with the October 2018 elections being the fifth time they were held.[4][5]

There are six Parliamentary Constituencies (Lok Sabha Constituencies) in Jammu and Kashmir - 1.Baramulla 2. Srinagar 3. Anantnag 4. Ladakh 5. Udhampur 6. Jammu
There are 87 assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Jammu & Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) and Indian National Congress (INC) have been the dominant political parties in Jammu and Kashmir. But in recent years the vote share of Bharatiya Janata Party has increased considerably for the parliamentary elections in the state, from 12.45% in 2008 to 23% in 2014.[6]

Comparison between voter turnout trends (in percentages) for the elections to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) of India between 1967 and 2014 for Jammu and Kashmir and India. Jammu and Kashmir has had the lowest voter turnout for any state in India in 6 of the 12 Lok Sabha elections it has been a part of.[7][8][9]

Background[edit]

Legal Provisions[edit]

Both constitutions give power to the Election Commission of India to oversee the establishment of the electoral roles as well as organize the elections to both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in Jammu and Kashmir according Section 138, Part X of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.[1]

Elections to elect all the 111 members of the Legislative Assembly is based universal adult suffrage from people among the state constituencies. The Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) of Jammu and Kashmir has 36 members. Out of these 22 members are elected according to a "system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote", 6 members are elected from among members municipal council, town area committees, notified area committees, Panchayats and other bodies.[1]

Panchayat elections which are held for sarpanch and panch constituencies as part of the Panchayati Raj system in the state are held according to the provisions in the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act 1989.[10][11] The authority to form the 'Panchayat Electoral Rolls' and to the conduct Panchayat elections are given to the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir.[12] Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir are conducted on the basis of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act 2000.[13]

Major Political Parties[edit]

This list includes state parties as well as national parties. It also include political parties which no longer exist

Lok Sabha elections[edit]

Jammu and Kashmir has taken part in 12 general elections to the Lok Sabha of India.[17] The first time that Jammu & Kashmir sent elected members to the Lok Sabha was in 1967. Elections were not held in 1990 in Jammu and Kashmir due to insurgency in the region.[citation needed][18]

A woman voter displaying her voter slip at a polling booth during the 7th Phase of General Elections 2014, in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir on 30 April 2014

The table below shows how the Indian National Congress (INC) and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) have won the most Lok Seats in the state since 1967. JKNC and INC has won the seats 27 times each. The other parties won seats in general elections to the Lok Sabha from Jammu and Kashmir are Jammu & Kashmir People's Democratic Party 4 times, Bharatiya Janata Party 13 times, Janata Dal only 1 time and independent candidates 6 times.

Keys:   JKNC (27)   INC (27)   BJP (13)   Independent (6)   JKPDP (4)   JD (1)

Election Year Winners
Total Baramulla Srinagar Anantnag Ladakh Udhampur Jammu
1967 INC: 5/6[19] INC JKNC INC INC INC INC
1971 INC: 5, Independent: 1 INC IND INC INC INC INC
1977 JKNC: 3, INC: 1, IND: 1 JKNC JKNC INC INC INC IND
1980 JKNC: 3, Congress(I): 1, Congress(U): 1 JKNC JKNC JKNC IND INC(U) INC(I)
1984 JKNC: 3, INC: 3[20] JKNC JKNC JKNC INC INC INC
1989 JKNC: 3, INC: 2, IND: 1[21] JKNC JKNC JKNC IND INC INC
1991 Elections Not Held
1996 INC: 4, BJP: 1, JD: 1[22] INC INC JD INC BJP INC
1998 JKNC: 3, BJP: 2, INC: 1[23] JKNC JKNC INC JKNC BJP BJP
1999 JKNC: 4, BJP: 2[24] JKNC JKNC JKNC JKNC BJP BJP
2004 JKNC: 2, JKPDP: 1, INC: 1, IND: 1[25] JKNC JKNC JKPDP IND BJP BJP
2009 JKNC: 3, INC: 2, IND: 1[26] JKNC JKNC JKNC IND INC INC
2014 BJP: 3, PDP: 3 JKPDP JKPDP JKPDP BJP BJP BJP
2019 BJP: 3, JKNC: 3 JKNC JKNC JKNC BJP BJP BJP

Legislative assembly elections[edit]

After the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was amended, the name Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir changed into Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.[27][28]

Year Election Chief Minister (Winning Party/Coalition) Seats Won Remarks
1951 Constituent Assembly Sheikh Abdullah (JKNC) 1951-1953 (dismissed)
Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad (JKNC) 1953-1957
Total: 75; JKNC: 75 Praja Parishad boycotted;

all seats unopposed[29]

1957 First Assembly Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad (JKNC) 1957-1962 Total: 75; JKNC: 69
PP: 5, HM: 1
47 seats unopposed[30]
1962 Second Assembly Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad (JKNC) 1962-1963
Khwaja Shamsuddin (JKNC) 1963-1964
Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq (INC) 1964-1972
Total: 74; JKNC: 68
PP: 3, independents: 3
33 seats unopposed;
allegations of malpractices[31]
1967 Third Assembly Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq (INC) Total: 75; INC: 60
39 seats unopposed;
118 candidates rejected[32]
1972 Fourth Assembly Syed Mir Qasim (INC) 1972-1975
Sheikh Abdullah 1975-1977
Total: 75; INC: 58
Jamaat: 5; BJS: 3
Plebiscite Front banned;
election malpractices[33]
1977 Fifth Assembly Sheikh Abdullah (JKNC) 1977-1982 (death)
Farooq Abdullah (JKNC) 1982-1983
Total: 76; JKNC: 47
INC: 11, Janata: 13
free and fair elections[34]
1983 Sixth Assembly Farooq Abdullah (JKNC) 1983-1984 (dismissed)
Ghulam Mohammad Shah (ANC) 1984-1986
Farooq Abdullah (JKNC) 1986-1987
Total: 76; JKNC: 46
INC: 26
INC engineered split in JKNC;
suppression of protests[35]
1987 Seventh Assembly Farooq Abdullah (JKNC) 1987-1990 (dismissed)
President's rule 1990-1996
Total: 76; JKNC: 40, INC: 26
MUF:4; BJP: 2
blatant rigging[16][36]
1996 Eighth Assembly Farooq Abdullah (JKNC) Total: 87; JKNC: 57
INC: 7; BJP: 8; JD: 5; BSP: 4
2002 Ninth Assembly Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (PDP) 2002-2005
Ghulam Nabi Azad (INC) 2005-2008
Total: 87; PDP: 16, INC: 20,
JKNC: 28, Panthers: 4
Independents: 13
2008 Tenth Assembly Omar Abdullah (JKNC) Total: 87; JKNC: 28, INC: 17
PDP: 21, BJP: 11
2014 Eleventh Assembly Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (PDP) 2015-2016 (death)
Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) 2016 - June 2018
Total: 87; PDP: 28; BJP: 25
JKNC: 15; INC: 12
Results announced in December 2014, but new government formed in March 2015, after two months of intense negotiations to form PDP-BJP alliance, with BJP's Nirmal Kumar Singh becoming Deputy CM in the beginning [37] [38]

Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir are held for positions to municipal corporations (Urban Local Bodies - ULBs) in the region on the basis of the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act 2000. Elections to these positions are based on universal adult franchise in electoral constituencies called wards.[13][39][40][41] Since 1947 municipal elections have been held five times in the state. Before 2018, the last Municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2005.[4][5]

2018 municipal elections[edit]

The 2018 local elections were held in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in four phases on 8, 10, 13 and 16 October. Voting was held from 7am to 4pm. The days were declared a public holiday in the region.[42] The total number of wards (electoral constituencies) were 1145 out of which 244 wards (4.7%) were uncontested.[43][44] Out of a total of around 17 lakh electors, the final state voter turnout was 35.1%, that is 5.97 lakh electors voted.[45] Counting was held on 20 October 2018.[46] Major political parties in the state such as Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) and Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) boycotted the elections.[47]

There was vast difference between voting turnout for the Urban Local Bodies, with Srinagar Municipal Corporation getting a poll percentage of 1.8% as compared to Ramgarh Municipal Committee getting a poll percentage of 82.6% in the third phase of voting.[48] In certain wards such as Baghat Barzulla (Srinagar Municipal Corporation), out of a total of 11486 electors, only 61 votes were placed (0.53% voter turnout).[49] On the other hand, wards such as Partap Garh (Jammu Municipal Corporation), out of 3583 electors, 2372 votes were placed (66.2% voter turnout).[50]

In the Srinagar Municipal Corporation, out of the 74 wards, Independent candidates won 53 seats, Indian National Congress won 16 seats, Bhartiya Janata Party secured 4 seats and 1 ward went vacant ( no votes were cast on that seat ). In the Jammu Municipal Corporation polls, out of the 75 wards, Bhartiya Janata Party secured 43 seats, Independent candidates got 18 seats and Indian National Congress won 14 seats.[51][52] In the Leh municipal committee, Congress won all the 13 seats.[53] BJP for the first time in the electoral history of the state, won 60 seats unopposed, winning at least seven municipal committees in Kashmir valley.[54][55] In Kashmir, 69% of the 598 wards did not require polling.[56][57]

Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir[edit]

Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat elections are held in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act 1989.[10][58]

The 2011 the Panchayat elections consisted of 143 blocks, 4130 Sarpanchs and 29719 Panchs. The total electors were 5,068,975 electors out of which over 80%[59] voted in 33,000 polling stations.[60] Before 2011, panchayat elections were held in 2001 after a gap of 23 years.[60]

Year Dates Blocks No of Panchayat

Halqas (Sarpanch)

No. of Panch

Constituencies

No of Electors Remarks
2018 17 November 2018 to 11 December 2018 316 4483 35029 5854208 [61][62]
2011 13 April 2011 to 30 June 2011 143 4130 29719 5068975 [60]
2001 December 2000 to March 2001 - - 10458 - [63]

2018 Panchayat elections[edit]

In the build-up to the 2018 Panchayat elections, National Conference (NC) and People's Democratic Party (PDP) announced they would boycott the local elections.[64][65] Around 12 panchayat houses were set on fire before the elections.[66]

Controversies[edit]

Election controversies include burning prospective buildings going to be used for elections, such as what happened before the 2018 Panchayat elections in the state.[66] The call to boycott the elections is a common feature among parties in the region, especially the regional parties and separatist groups.[47][67][68] Election rigging has also been a criticism, especially during the 1987 Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly election.[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c National Informatics Centre, Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir 1956. Government of India.
  2. ^ Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir. "Parliamentary Constituencies". ceojammukashmir.nic.in. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  3. ^ Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Constituency map, http://ceojammukashmir.nic.in/JKMaps/JK_AC-combined.pdf, Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir.
  4. ^ a b "Questions in Jammu and Kashmir local polls". The Indian Express. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b "First municipal elections since 2005; despite boycott by NC, PDP, civic poll dates out". The Indian Express. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  6. ^ Livemint (30 December 2014). "Battleground state | Jammu and Kashmir". Livemint. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  7. ^ Election Commission of India. "Statistical Reports of General Election to Lok Sabha". eci.nic.in. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  8. ^ Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Election Commission of India, Election Data, Open Government Data Platform India, https://data.gov.in/catalog/election-lok-sabha-house-people. Published under Government Open Data License - India National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy Government of India: https://data.gov.in/government-open-data-license-india
  9. ^ "Government Open Data License - India National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy Government of India".
  10. ^ a b "Government of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 And Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996 ( Amended up to April, 2011)" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir ready to hold panchayat polls, waiting for government nod: CEO". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  12. ^ Chief Electoral Officer (2018). Jammu and Kashmir. Local Bodies Elections 2018 Press Note, Panchayat Elections. National Informatics Centre, Jammu and Kashmir.
  13. ^ a b Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Act 2000, https://www.jmcjammu.org/forms/jmcact.pdf
  14. ^ Mufti floats new regional party in Kashmir
  15. ^ Bose 2003, p. 99.
  16. ^ a b Behera 2007, p. 47.
  17. ^ "Election Commission of India". eci.nic.in. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
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  30. ^ Bose 2003, p. 75.
  31. ^ Bose 2003, pp. 77-78.
  32. ^ Bose 2003, p. 85.
  33. ^ Bose 2003, pp. 86-89.
  34. ^ Bose 2003, pp. 89-90.
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  58. ^ Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. Panchayati Raj Act 1989 (Amended up to October 2018). Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
  59. ^ Sahai, Dhananjay. "The politics of elections in Kashmir | ORF". ORF. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
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  62. ^ Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir. Detailed Schedule of Panchayat Elections in Jammu and Kashmir 2018, Press Note. National Informatics Centre.
  63. ^ "The Hindu : Kashmir's quest for local democracy". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  64. ^ "Kashmir polls: Chance for BJP to fill vacuum as NC, PDP boycott but terror threats may deter mass participation - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  65. ^ "NC, PDP call for boycott of local bodies polls over Article 35-A: All you need to know". The Indian Express. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  66. ^ a b "Jammu and Kashmir local body polls, Part IV: Miscreants set panchayat offices on fire to 'warn' contestants, voters - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
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  68. ^ AP (25 November 2014). "Thousands vote in Kashmir state elections amid boycott call". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
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Bibliography[edit]