The election results in Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand on Tuesday saw big swings in political fortunes, with voters throwing out many heavy weights and ushering in new ones to office. Former chief minister Omar Abdullah's party won only 15 seats in J&K on Tuesday while Jharkhand's outgoing CM Hemant Soren's party fared slightly better with 19 seats in his state. Both the CMs however managed to retain one of the two seats they both contested.
Even though the Jammu & Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) won the most number of seats in the J&K elections this time—28—the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is close behind with 25 seats. However, BJP's vote share is slightly higher than PDP's at 23%. Both parties made significant gains from the 2008 elections.
Meanwhile BJP won 37 seats in Jharkhand and was easily leading in the state with the largest voter share—almost a third of the state's voter favouring the right-wing party. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was next in line with a fifth of the voter base supporting the party. At the time of writing, one seat was yet to be declared. Former chief ministers Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda lost elections in the state.
Here are 9 politicians who mattered in the elections from these two states.
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BJP's performance in J&K and Jharkhand shows the Narendra Modi wave is still an electoral force to reckon with, even if the Opposition is putting up a united front against him in Parliament. He campaigned both in Jharkhand and in J&K, but in the border state, which he visited nine times in the six months he has been PM, he worked his campaign magic hard. Modi did several poll campaigns in J&K in the run-up to the elections. Here he is seen addressing an election rally at Kathua on December 13, 2014, during his fourth poll visit to J&K.
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Outgoing chief minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah barely managed to win a seat in the Beerwah constituency in J&K, defeating Congress' Nazir Ahmad Khan by 910 votes. Abdullah lost in Sonawar to PDP's Mohammad Ashraf Mir by almost 5,000 votes.
He contested elections from two seats and chose not to contest from family's borough Ganderbal, which elected him in 2008. His party won 15 seats, down from 28 seats in the previous assembly.
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Mufti Mohammad Sayeed looks set to return as chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. All eyes are on the People's Democratic Party chief, as multiple options are before him in forming the government. If he chooses to go with the BJP and form a more stable government, it will be an ideologically incoherent government, and if he cobbles together a government with the Congress and independents, the coalition, it will be an unstable government with a slim majority. His party won big in the valley, and has 28 seats now, up from 21 last time.
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Hina Bhat is one of the two Kashmiri Muslim women who contested on a BJP ticket from Kashmir valley. A dental surgeon and daughter of a former National Conference MP, Bhat rose to prominence during the campaign with her controversial statements. She lost from the Amirakadal constituency to Altaf Bukhari of the People's Democratic Party.
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Mehbooba Mufti, president of Peoples Democratic Party, will now be key to negotiations about government formation and in subsequently running the government.
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Despite trailing for much of the counting day, outgoing chief minister Hemant Soren defeated the BJP's Hemlal Murmu in the Barhait seat in Jharkhand. He will lead the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's efforts on the opposition benches now.
While BJP won big in Jharkhand, the party's best-known face in the state, former chief minister Arjun Munda, lost. Munda had been Jharkhand CM thrice in the past 14 years and had won the Kharsawan seat four times before this. This time, however, he lost, even as BJP won its biggest ever tally of 37 seats.
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In a big election upset, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha's president Babulal Marandi lost from both the constituencies he was running from. Marandi, who was the first Jharkhand CM, lost to Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) candidate Rajkumar Yadav from Dhanwar and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Nirbhay Shabadi from Giridih. His party has won 8 seats.
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah arrives at the party headquarters in New Delhi after an excellent showing in J&K and Jharkhand. During his press conference, he gave all the credit to his former boss Narendra Modi. But Shah's impressive victory streak, beginning with the general elections and continuing through assembly elections in Haryana, Maharashtra and now Jharkhand and Jammu, consolidates his position within the BJP as the ultimate electoral strategist.