Faces tough competition from independents in Kishtwar, Udhampur, Samba; neck-to-neck fight with JKNPP in Ramnagar
The rightwing Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) swept the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) polls winning 43 seats where independent candidates posed serious challenge to it and Congress in most districts of the division.
Of the total 75 JMC wards in Jammu district, BJP won 43 seats, more than the clear majority of 38 seats.
Even as BJP won with clear majority in JMC, 18 independent candidates also won from different wards, and 14 Congress leaders also registered their victory.
Baldev Singh Baloria, who won from ward 56 in Gangyal area of Jammu district, might become the Mayor candidate of BJP in JMC.
According to Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Romesh Kumar, the counting of votes for Urban Local Bodies (ULB) started at 9 am for one corporation and seven municipal committees of the district.
BJP won two seats in Jorian Municipal Committee which has seven municipal wards where Congress won four seats, and an independent candidate won a seat.
In Ghou Manhasan Municipal Committee having seven wards, BJP won five seats, Congress two while independent candidates failed to win even one.
In Bishnah Municipal Committee having 13 wards, BJP won six, independents seven while Congress failed to even open their account.
In Arnia Municipal Committee having 13 wards, BJP won six municipal seats, Congress one and and independents won five seats.
In the border town of Akhnoor comprising 13 wards, BJP won 11 seats and Congress two.
In the Municipal Committee Khour having 13 wards, BJP won nine and Congress four.
In R S Pura, BJP won 9 seats, Congress one and independents won three.
Talking to media persons, DC Jammu said, “Recounting was done in one of the wards after an objection raised by a political party. There is no fiddling with the EVM machines which were kept as per guidelines of the Election Commission of India under the protection of paramilitary forces.”
In Kathua district, BJP won 34 seats while independents won 27 candidates and Congress won 19 seats in 80 wards of the six municipal committees of the district.
Interestingly, the younger brother of former BJP minister and sitting legislator Choudhary Lal Singh, Rajinder Singh Babby defeated the BJP candidate from ward 2 in Kathua town and Babby’s wife Bandana Andotra won as an independent candidate from ward 18 in Kathua town defeating a BJP candidate.
In Nagri Prol, five BJP candidates won while two seats went to Congress and six to independents.
In Hiranagar, seven seats went to BJP, three to Congress and independents won three seats.
In Basohli, BJP won five seats while Congress and independents won four seats each.
In Billawar, BJP won six seats, Congress and independents won five seats each.
In Lakhanpur, BJP won three seats, independents believed to be supporters of Chaudhary Lal Singh won four while Congress had not fielded any candidate from Lakhanpur.
BJP suffered a setback in Samba district where the rightwing party has two legislators from Vijaypur and Samba and both were the ministers in PDP-BJP government.
Samba district has four municipal committees with 56 wards and out of 17 wards in Samba town, BJP won four, Congress two, JKNPP two, independents nine.
In Vijaypur, both BJP and Congress won three seats each.
From Bari Brahmana, BJP won seven and in Rambarh both BJP and Congress won four seats each.
In Reasi district, of the 13 wards in Reasi Municipal Committee BJP won six, independents five and Congress two.
In Katra, BJP won seven, Congress two and independents four.
Of the 21 wards in Udhampur municipal committee, independents won nine, BJP four, JKNPP five while two seats went to Congress.
Of the 13 wards in Ramnagar, BJP won seven while JKNPP five while an independent also won one.
Of the seven wards in Chenani, BJP won three seats, independents three and Congress one.
Independent candidates had the support of former National Conference minister Surjeet Singh Salathia in Vijaypur and Bari Brahmana municipal committee.
In Doda, Congress and BJP won three wards each while independents won 11 wards.
In Thathri, Congress won three seats, BJP one and independents three.
In Bhadarwah, BJP won three seats, Congress six, and independents four.
In Kishtwar, independents won 10 seats, two went to Congress and one to BJP. Four of these candidates were women.
Sources said most of the independent candidates in Kishtwar had NC’s support even though it had boycotted polls in protest against Article 35-A.