In a first, the BharatiyaJanta Party (BJP) has taken lead from any Assembly segment of Kashmir Valley during Parliamentary elections.
In a surprising development, the BJP candidate for Anantnag polled more votes than the high-profile nominees of the NC, the Congress and the PDP in volatile Tral segment, which witnessed a near-total boycott during the last leg of polls for Southern Kashmir’s Parliamentary segment on May 6.
According to official figures, the BJP polled 323 votes in Tral followed by the National Conference which secured 234 votes, Peoples Democratic Party 220 votes, and Congress 144 votes.
When contacted, BJP candidate from Anantnag segment SofiYosouf said they have first time taken lead from any Assembly segment of Kashmir.
“It is an achievement for us. Despite threats by the NC and the PDP workers, our cadre came out to vote in some pockets of Tral,” he said.
Yosouf got 10225 votes of which 7789 were migrant and postal ballots. In all the 16 segments of Anantnag seat, he secured only 2436 votes.
The LokSabha election in Southern Kashmir witnessed minimal participation with just eight percent electorate exercising their franchise.
Considered as stronghold of separatists, Tral constituency recorded 1.03 percent voter turnout in the election as only 1019 persons lined up before polling stations to cast their votes.
In the previous elections, the BJP never won any Assembly seat in Kashmir nor obtained lead from any segment.
However, the party managed to send two members to the Legislative Council during the PDP-BJP rule against the berths reserved for Kashmir Valley in the House. While SofiYosouf was elected as MLC in 2015 for four years, GirdhariLal Raina, a Kashmiri Pandit, got elected as member of the House in 2017.