J&K civic polls: BJP wins Jammu, Cong sweeps Leh

BJP makes its entry in Kashmir valley

 A BJP candidate shows victory sign and certificate after winning municipal election from SMC ward of Sanatnagar area of Srinagar. DH Photo

The counting of votes in Jammu and Kashmir civic polls was completed on Saturday with BJP triumphing in Jammu province and Congress doing well in Kashmir valley.

BJP won 212 wards out of the 520 wards in Jammu region, while the Congress emerged winners in 110 and independents secured victory in 185. Out of 75 wards of Jammu Municipal Corporation, BJP won 43, Congress 14 and independents 18 wards.

In Kashmir valley, the Congress won 79 wards, the BJP 75 and independents 71. In 74 wards of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, independents won 49 wards, Congress 12 and BJP just 4. Eight wards in Srinagar had gone uncontested. In Kashmir valley out of total 624 wards, polling was held in just 208 wards, while 231 remained uncontested and in 185 wards not a single candidate filed nominations.

However, the BJP won 53 of the 132 wards in militancy-hit districts of south Kashmir (Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian), giving it control over at least four of 20 civic bodies.

Among the prominent winners was Junaid Azim Mattu, who left the regional National Conference (NC) after he disagreed with the poll boycott decision by the party. Prominent among the losers was Asifa Tariq Karra, the wife of senior Congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra, who resigned as Lok Sabha member in 2016 and left the regional PDP to join Congress.

In Leh town of cold desert Ladakh region, the Congress swept the polls winning all the 13 seats, while in neighbouring Kargil, the party won six and independents seven wards. The BJP failed to open its account in Ladakh region. The Ladakh Parliament constituency is represented by BJP’s Thupstan Chhewang.

Election to the urban local bodies was held from October 8 to 16.

Panchayat polls 

Two major regional parties in the state, the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had stayed away from these polls citing challenge to Article 35-A in the Supreme Court as the reason. Separatists had called for boycott of the elections, while Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant outfit had issued a warning to those participating in the polls to get shrouds along with the election forms.

The urban local bodies (ULB) polls were pending for the last eight years as the last election was conducted in 2005 by then PDP-Congress government, whose term ended in 2010. Elections for Panchayat are scheduled to be held in the state from November 19 to December 11.

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J&K civic polls: BJP wins Jammu, Cong sweeps Leh

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