Congress loss is BJP's gain in Kashmir

Congress loss is BJP's gain in Kashmir

The Congress Tuesday bore the brunt of voters' anger in Jammu and Kashmir as it appeared to be the biggest loser in the state assembly elections though its erstwhile partner, the National Conference has also not done well.

In the outgoing assembly, the Congress had 17 seats while it has managed to register only eight wins so far.

Senior Congress leader and campaign manager Ghulam Nabi Azad has taken serious drubbing in these elections.

The Chenab Valley districts of Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar and Reasi with eight seats have been Azad's political bastion, but here the Congress has just managed to win two seats, Inderwal and Bannihal.

The party has won two seats in the Kashmir Valley while it is still leading at two other places.

In the Jammu region, the Congress' loss has been the gain of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has recorded a significant victory there.

The BJP, which has 11 seats in the outgoing assembly, has now won 23 seats in the Jammu region with its candidates leading at two other places.

Interestingly, the BJP did not field any senior party leader or known face in the present elections, the most prominent among them being Ashok Khajuria who has been the party leader for over 30 years, but was denied a ticket this time.

The choice of BJP candidates was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, party sources told IANS.

"It was Narendra Modi's image and stature which we projected in these elections and that has been the reason for our party registering such an overwhelming presence," said a senior BJP leader.

Modi gave his best shot to these elections - visiting the state six times to campaign and focusing mainly on change and development.

He also spoke against corruption and dynastic rule in Jammu and Kashmir, but his oratory failed to enthuse voters in the Muslim majority Valley where the BJP could not post a single win.

The electoral gains for the BJP have come from Jammu region where Modi held most of his campaign rallies.

The BJP campaign to restrain both the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party from making any significant gains in the region has succeeded - the NC won just one and the PDP two seats there.

On the other hand, the regional card played by the PDP and NC has ensured the BJP does not succeed in making a mark in the Valley.

Now the most question is whether the BJP would decide to align with the PDP or not. As of now, the BJP and the PDP have both ruled out any future alliance.

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