26 October, 2020

Grin And Tonic

The J&K poll results gives the indolent party, post-Akshardham, a shot in the arm

Jitender Gupta
Grin And Tonic
If it's a question of the Congress' morale, the Jammu and Kashmir election results couldn't have come at a better time. After the terrorist strike on the Akshardham complex and the predicted polarisation of the Hindu vote, the Congress claim that it would emerge victorious in Gujarat suddenly sounded hollow. The party appeared to have receded into a shell, even as Narendra Modi repeatedly raked up the "Sonia-is-a-foreigner" issue during his gaurav yatra. Privately, Congress leaders admitted that gloom had indeed afflicted the workers.

But suddenly, the good showing by the party in Jammu and Kashmir came as a tonic. While the Congress was expected to better its 1996 performance, no one expected it to win 20 seats, that too 15 in Hindu-dominated Jammu. Equally comforting for the party was the fact that the BJP was literally wiped out in its old stronghold, winning just one seat in Jammu.

The rejection of the BJP by the Jammu voters is being interpreted by Congress strategists as an anti-incumbency vote against the BJP at the Centre. They also see it as proof that the...


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