India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proposed a “new India”, promising economic growth and prosperity for all people if his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is re-elected next month. But what does that mean for Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state?
In its manifesto, the BJP included a plan to repeal Indian-administered Kashmir’s special status which, according to Modi, is an obstacle to economic development. The government has increased security in the region in response to a suicide attack against Indian government forces in which 40 people were killed. Authorities have restricted civilian movement along an arterial highway and shut down mobile internet services – measures that have not been well received by many Kashmiris.
The first phase of Lok Sabha parliamentary elections in the region began on April 11 amid calls to boycott what separatist leaders said was an illegitimate exercise under “military occupation”. The remaining phases of polling are scheduled for April 23, 29 and May 6.
So what does this huge voting exercise mean for the people?
We speak with a panel of guests from Indian-administered Kashmir to get their thoughts on the election, and on what impact the potential revocation of Kashmir’s special status could have.
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