- BJP secures clear victory in Jammu district, securing 92 of 154 wards
- Wins 212 of 520 wards, but fails to retain many traditional strongholds
- While Independent candidates win 185 wards, Congress scores 110
The BJP secured a major victory in polls to the Jammu Municipal Corporation, the votes for which were counted today, but did not do as well in other districts of the Jammu province.
A chart posted by BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Twitter showed that his party had won 212 of the 520 wards in the Jammu region, leaving 110 for the Congress. While Independent candidates scored 185, the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party secured an unlucky 13.
According to the chart posted by Mr Madhav, the BJP managed its highest tally of 92 wards in Jammu district -- securing absolute majority -- while the Congress and Independents scored 28 and 34 respectively. However, the party did not fare as well in polls to municipal committees in other districts hitherto considered as its traditional strongholds.
Its second-best showing was in Kathua, a district that has long been in the news over the rape and murder of a nomadic girl by alleged right-wing activists, with 34 of 80 wards. While the Congress won 19 wards in the district, Independent candidates scored 27.
Of the 56 wards in Samba district, the BJP emerged victorious in 18 while the Congress managed just nine. Independent candidates claimed 27 wards in this region.
The Congress got the better of the BJP in the districts of Kishtwar (two to one), Doda (12 to seven) and Ramban (10 to six), although a lion's share of the wards was bagged by Independents.
The BJP also won 53 of the 132 wards in four districts of south Kashmir (Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian), giving it control over at least four of 20 civic bodies.
The Congress, however, bagged all 13 seats in the Leh Municipal committee - leaving none for the BJP. It also won five wards in neighbouring Kargil district, election officials said in Srinagar.
Two major regional forces -- the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party -- had refused to contest in the state's local body polls over alleged attempts to dilute Article 35(A) of the Constitution. Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to permanent residents.
The state urban civic body polls were held earlier this month. While Jammu and Ladakh regions witnessed robust polling in the municipal polls, only 3.4 per cent of the people came out to vote in terrorism-hit Kashmir.