JAMMU/SRINAGAR: The BJP swept the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections and made some advances in Kashmir, by winning 100 wards in the Valley, in the four-phased Urban Local Bodies elections in the State that were marred by boycott by the NC and PDP.
Independents on Saturday emerged as the single largest group in the elections in Kashmir by winning 178 wards across 42 municipal bodies in Kashmir division, including Leh and Kargil, elections authorities said.
The BJP swept the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections and made some advances in Kashmir, by winning 100 wards in the valley, in the four-phased Urban Local Bodies elections in the state that were marred by boycott by the NC and PDP.
The BJP won a total of 169 seats in these bodies followed by independents at 167 and the Congress at 96, the officials said.
They attributed the emergence of independents as a strong force in view of the absence of the NC and the PDP, the key regional parties.
The election in a ward in Ramban was countermanded due to the death of a BJP candidate who suffered a heart attack on the day of polling in the second phase on October 10. The election in the 521 municipal wards in the 10 districts of Jammu was held in the first three phases of the elections in the State, which concluded on October 16, recording a high voter turnout of 68.4 per cent among the over 6.44 lakh electorate.
Thirteen candidates were elected to different municipal wards unopposed, leaving a total of 2,137 candidates in the fray.
The JMC along with seven municipal committees of Jammu went to polls in the first phase on October 8, registering a turnout of 63.8 per cent.
The counting of votes in the winter capital started at a government polytechnic institute at 9:00 AM. As the results started pouring in, BJP leaders and activists came out to celebrate party’s victory.
The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) failed to open its account in the majority of the wards, including the JMC.
Party chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh alleged rigging and claimed, “It is not the BJP but electronic voting machine (EVM) which won the election for the party.”
In the seven municipal committees of Jammu, the BJP won Akhnoor with 11 seats, while two seats went to Congress. In Bishnah, the BJP won six seats against seven by Independents.