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What Impact Would Indo-Pak Confrontation Have On 2019 Elections?


28 February 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: The relations between India and Pakistan have always been fragile. However, the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which more than 40 CRPF troopers were massacred, pulled India to the threshold and the nation responded with a 'surgical' airtstrike on terror factories in Balakot.

What impact would the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan have on 2019 elections, scheduled in a couple of months, remains a big question. Intelligentsia in the city is of mixed opinion on whether the elections would be rescheduled.

OMMCOM NEWS spoke to people who have watched the relations between India and Pakistan and covered elections over decades, and sought their opinion on the current situation. Here are the excerpts:

Senior Journalist Sandeep Sahu: The manner in which the BJP is running its poll-oriented campaigns, led by PM Modi, the probability of elections getting postponed is very low. Besides, it does not appear that the skirmishes between the two-countries would escalate to war.

The BJP would surely try and churn maximum mileage from the efforts of the defence forces and claim bravado. However, it is a good sign that the opposition has shown restraint by not indicting the BJP which is playing to the gallery.

Senior Journalist, Dilip Bisoi: A conflict of this intensity at the border, when India is preparing for elections is unfortunate and unwelcome. With Pakistan's habitual denials of harbouring terrorists, the situation is only getting uglier and there are chances that this might lead to a war.

If there is a war or even war-like situation, the polls will be postponed. About 100 companies of paramilitary force is deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, and if situation deems, more companies would be marched to the State. Time will speak on the fate of the 2019 elections.

The conflict between the two nations and India's response to it should not be politicized at any cost. People of this country are sane and wise enough to comprehend false propaganda and would respond appropriately during elections.

Prasanta Patnaik, Senior Journalist: Whether we will have elections or not is speculative. Elections are very close and if the situation on the border escalates, there are chances that an emergency would imposed. In such a situation elections are not possible. But India should make efforts to avoid a war and go for elections.

If elections are held, the BJP will have an edge by cashing-in on the sentiments of general citizens. However, politicisation of a sensitive matter is condemnable. Defence personnel are the most deserving owners of all credits and politicians should abstain from claiming honour.

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Sandeep Sahu, Senior Journalist, Odisha

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Dilip Bisoi, Senior Journalist, Odisha

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Prasant Patnaik, Senior Journalist, Odisha