India

Indian media: BJP's Kashmir performance

The ruling BJP has drastically improved its tally in Indian-administered Kashmir state elections, papers say Image copyright EPA
Image caption The ruling BJP has drastically improved its tally in Indian-administered Kashmir state elections, papers say

Papers say the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has put up an impressive show in Indian-administered Kashmir elections, even though no clear winner has emerged.

The BJP won 25 seats to emerge as the second largest party after the results of the five-phased polls were announced on Tuesday.

The regional People's Democratic Party (PDP) emerged as the largest party with 28 seats.

Observers say a coalition government is now likely because no party won the 44 seats needed to form a government in the 87-member state assembly.

"The fiercely fought election in Jammu and Kashmir has thrown up a fragmented verdict that is not going to easily yield a government in one of the most difficult places to govern in India," The Hindu says.

Most papers, however, feel that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP made a strong show even though their much touted "Mission 44" failed.

Mr Modi had urged voters to take the party across the 44-seat mark to form a government.

"BJP's Mission 44 may have failed in Kashmir but it has made a significant impact on the state's politics," The Times of India says.

The Hindustan Times agrees, saying that "it was not quite Mission 44+ in the end, but nothing can take away from the BJP's impressive showing in Indian-administered Kashmir".

"By picking up so many seats, it has firmly signalled that it will be a major player in the state," the paper adds.

Both papers give credit to Mr Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for the results.

"Credit has to go to the energetic campaigning by the BJP for its great showing in Jammu, led by its star campaigners like Mr Modi and Mr Shah," the Hindustan Times says.

"The ambition and audacity" of the duo have "steered the BJP to its present position as India's premier national party", adds The Times of India.

'Polarised region'

The Hindu, however, feels that the results highlight "a polarisation on religious lines" among voters.

The results suggest that "Hindus of the Jammu region voted overwhelmingly for the BJP and Muslims of the Kashmir Valley split their approval among the PDP, the National Conference and the Congress," the paper says.

The BJP, however, has a "historic opportunity to play a wider role in India's only Muslim-majority and most politically sensitive state", The Indian Express says.

The Hindustan Times, meanwhile, welcomes the fact that "voters came out in droves to exercise their franchise" despite the separatists' calls for a boycott.

Papers are also praising BJP's performance in the eastern state of Jharkhand where it has emerged as the largest party.

The BJP and a regional ally combined won 42 seats in the election results announced on Tuesday.

The Times of India says the BJP's victory signals "Jharkhand's desire for political stability and a clear mandate for economic development".

Meanwhile, in the capital, Delhi, two men threw acid on a woman in a busy area on Tuesday, reports say.

The men were on a motorbike when they attacked the victim, who is a medical professional.

Police have launched a probe into the incident, the NDTV website reports.

There have been over 200 reported cases of such attacks on women between 2010 and 2012, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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