Monday, December 29, 2008

Omar Abdullah to be CM

The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference emerged the single-largest party in crucial elections held in the war-torn state. The JKNC won a total of 28 seats, ahead of its biggest rival, the People's Democratic Pary (PDP). Now, JKNC President Omar Abdullah, who will become the new Chief Minister (and one of the youngest Chief Ministers in India), has to sit down with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, whose party won 17 seats. Together, the INC and the JKNC control a simple majority in the 87-seat assembly.

The elections were held this year after the previous PP-INC Coalition led by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad collapsed after the Amarnath Controversy. However, that issue seemed to have played to the BJP's favour, which won an amazing 11 seats, up from just 1 seat last time. 

The elections have been described as a 'vote for democracy' by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Chief Election Commissioner of India described it as the most 'credible election' held in the state. The election saw very few incidents of violence and a high turnout. People seem to have voted for better civic amenities and jobs.

Meanwhile, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti appears to be trying to form an alliance with some parties, but it has become quite clear that the JKNC-INC combine will govern the state.

Federal Elections and elections in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh next year.

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