A total of 75 Independents won the elections uncontested in the Valley where the boycott call was a success.
Srinagar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the largest party in Jammu, while the Congress did marginally better in Kashmir Valley as counting of votes in Jammu and Kashmir’s civic polls was completed on Saturday. But surprisingly, it was mainly the Independent candidates who carried the day.
As per the results declared by the Chief Electoral Office, the BJP won in 100 wards, the Congress in 157, but Independents emerged as the single largest group by winning 178 and 110 wards in Kashmir and Jammu divisions of the state, respectively.
The boycott call given by several political parties and separatists, coupled with threats by militants, helped both the BJP and the Congress in a major way as 76 and 78 candidates from the respective national parties were elected unopposed.
A total of 75 Independents won the elections uncontested in the Kashmiri Valley where the boycott call was a success. In Srinagar, in fact, a woman candidate was declared a winner after she beat her closest rival by one vote. In all, three votes had been cast in the ward.
The National Conference, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) along with the CPM and the BSP had boycotted the elections.
The polling, held in four phases, on October 8, 10, 13 and 16, under tight security, covered 79 municipal bodies with an electorate of about 1.7 million.
A total of 3,372 nominations were filed for 1,145 wards. And the cumulative poll percentage in the four phases in all the three regions of the state — Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh — was 35.1 per cent.
Kashmir division comprises Srinagar, Baramulla, Kupwara, Badgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Bandipora and Ganderbal districts.
In the Jammu region, which includes the districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Udhampur, Poonch and Rajouri, the BJP candidates won 212 wards, the Congress 110, National Panthers Party 13 and Independents 185.
Kashmir Valley has a total of 624 municipal wards. Out of these, contest was held only in 208 wards, whereas in 231 wards single candidates who had filed their nomination papers won the elections uncontested. No contest took place in remaining 185 wards.
In Leh, the Congress swept the polls winning all the 13 seats, while in Kargil, the Congress won six and Independents seven wards.
Independents supported by former minister and People’s Conference chief Sajad Gani Lone won all the 13 seats in the Handwara municipal committee polls in Kupwara.
Among the prominent winners is Junaid Azim Mattu who left the NC after he disagreed with the poll boycott decision by the state’s oldest political party. Prominent among the losers was Asifa Tariq Karra, the wife of senior Congress leader Tariq Hameed Karra.
Due to security reasons, names of candidate in the Valley were made public by the poll office only on the declaration of results.