BJP victorious in largely uncontested southern turf

In absence of any major opposition, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) emerged victorious in most of municipal bodies of the restive southern Kashmir, where the maximum number of seats remained vacant because there were no contestants.
BJP victorious in largely uncontested southern turf
GK Photo

In absence of any major opposition, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) emerged victorious in most of municipal bodies of the restive southern Kashmir, where the maximum number of seats remained vacant because there were no contestants.

Southern Kashmir has 19 municipal committees and one municipal council spread over four districts of Anantnag (10 MCs), Kulgam (4 MCs), Pulwama (5 MCs) and Shopian (1 MC).

Two of the MCs – MC Frisal in Kulgam district and MC Khrew in Pulwama district, each comprising 13 wards—did not receive any nomination at all.

In 15 of the MCs, candidates were either elected unopposed or wards remained vacant.

The election was, however, held in 16 out of 25 wards of MC Anantnag, 7 out of 11 wards of MC Mattan and only four out of 13 wards of MC Kokernag. There was a dismal voter turnout in all places.

"BJP party has won at least 60 wards out of 132 where polls were held," an official said. The unprecedented victory has given the party control on at least 14 out of 20 civic bodies in southern Kashmir.

In MC Shopian, BJP candidates won in 11 wards unopposed. Six wards in the town had no contestants.

All candidates are Kashmiri migrant Pandits and the party is set to have the chairman from among them.

 In MC Pulwama, two candidates, both affiliated with BJP, were in fray and they won unopposed. The rest of the 11 wards remained vacant as no one turned up to contest.

In MC Pampore, 4 BJP and one independent candidate were elected unopposed in the 17 designated wards.

In MC Tral, three BJP candidates and one independent candidate emerged victorious while the rest of the nine wards remained vacant.

In 13 wards of MC Awantipora, only one independent candidate had filed nomination and he was elected unopposed.

 In Devsar MC in Kulgam district, BJP party won all eight wards unopposed. The area is represented by Congress leader Mohammad Amin Bhat in the Assembly.

In Yaripora, the party bagged three seats, while the remaining three seats remained vacant for want of contestants.

In MC Kulgam, two BJP and three independent candidates won unopposed while seven wards remained vacant. 

In Anantnag district, BJP and Congress won two seats each in MC Achabal, one went to the independent candidate while six wards remained vacant

The BJP also got a simple majority in Qazigund MC in Anantnag, winning four of the seven wards. The other three wards had no candidates.

In Pahalgam MC, the party won seven of the 13 seats uncontested, while there were no candidates for the remaining six seats.

In MC Aishmuqam, three seats went to BJP, four to independents and one to Congress, while the five other wards remained vacant. In MC Mattan, BJP won seven, Congress two and independent one.

There was a contest in seven wards while in two candidates were elected unopposed and one ward remained vacant.

This township is home to Muslims, Sikhs and Pandits.

In MC Seer, three BJP candidate was elected unopposed while the rest of the seven wards remained vacant.

In MC Bijbehara, BJP bagged three wards, Congress two, while 12 wards remained vacant.

The Congress, on the other hand, won the majority of the wards in Dooru-Verinag MC, which was represented by JKPCC chief GA Mir in the Assembly. Mir, however, lost to former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's uncle Farooq Andrabi in the 2014 assembly elections. The party bagged 14 of the 17 seats, while the BJP managed to win two seats. One seat remained vacant.

Congress also won in Kokernag MC, bagging 10 seats while two went to independent candidates. Elections were held in four wards and in rest, the wards were candidates elected unopposed. One ward remained vacant. The BJP had not fielded any candidate from here.

The municipal council Anantnag, the largest civic body in the Valley after Srinagar, went to Congress. Out of the 25 wards, 16 went to polls that saw a voter turnout of 0.8 percent. In eight other wards, candidates were elected unopposed and one ward remained vacant as none filed nomination. Twenty of the wards went to Congress, three to BJP and one to an independent.

Congress leader Hilal Ahmad Shah is set to be chairman of the council. He had lost Assembly polls to former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Saeed in 2014 elections and later to his daughter in the bypoll for Anantnag assembly seat. This time, he won from Khanabal-A ward. Of the 135 wards in South Kashmir where polls were held in four phases, 107 candidates were elected unopposed. 

Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com