|BJP wins Jammu civic body polls as main political rivals stay away|
|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Oct 20: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday emerged as a clear winner in the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections with 43 seats in its kitty, bettering its previous strength of 25 in the 75-member body.
The Congress suffered a big loss in the election, winning only 14 seats against its 26 in the 2005 civic polls, election officials said. Then it was ruling Jammu and Kashmir in coalition with the PDP.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) along with the National Conference (NC), the CPI(M) and the BSP had boycotted the four-phased Urban Local Bodies elections which were held after a gap of 13 years.
The BJP won 43 seats in the JMC elections, the officials said.
The independent candidates also presented a good show, winning a total of 18 seats in the JMC.
In rest of the 446 wards spread across Jammu region covering a total of 36 municipal committees and councils, the BJP had an edge over its rivals in 15 bodies followed by Independents in 12 and the Congress in five, they said.
The BJP won a total of 169 seats in these bodies followed by independents at 167 and the Congress at 96, the officials said.
They attributed the emergence of independents as a strong force in view of the absence of the NC and the PDP, the key regional parties.
The election in a ward in Ramban was countermanded due to the death of a BJP candidate who suffered a heart attack on the day of polling in the second phase on October 10.
The election in the 521 municipal wards in the 10 districts of Jammu was held in the first three phases of the elections in the state, which concluded on October 16, recording a high voter turnout of 68.4 per cent among the over 6.44 lakh electorate.
Thirteen candidates were elected to different municipal wards unopposed, leaving a total of 2,137 candidates in the fray.
The JMC along with seven municipal committees of Jammu went to polls in the first phase on October 8, registering a turnout of 63.8 per cent.
The counting of votes in the winter capital started at a government polytechnic institute at 9 am. As the results started pouring in, BJP leaders and activists came out to celebrate party's victory.
"This is the victory of the people and they have reposed their faith in us. We will continue to serve the people to the best of our ability," BJP state chief Ravinder Raina said while leading the celebrations at party headquarters here.
He said it was the victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and efforts to take the country to new heights and the hard work and dedication of party leaders and workers.
The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) failed to open its account in the majority of the wards, including the JMC.
Party chairman and former minister Harsh Dev Singh alleged rigging and claimed, "It is not the BJP but electronic voting machine (EVM) which won the election for the party."
"EVMs should be replaced with ballot boxes to enure free and fair polls," he said.
Deepak Gupta, the brother of senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta, was among the prominent candidates who lost the elections.
However, Rajinder Singh alias Bubby, the brother of senior BJP leader Choudhary Lal Singh, and his wife Vandina Andotra won as independents from Kathua municipal council.
Bubby was in the centre of a controversy in May when a video of him went viral on social media in which he was purportedly abusing former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti during a 'Dogra Swabhiman rally.
The rally was led by the former minister in support of a demand for a CBI probe into the Kathua rape and murder case.
An FIR was registered against Bubby who was later arrested from Rajasthan's Udaipur in June after evading arrest for nearly a month.
In the seven municipal committees of Jammu, the BJP won Akhnoor with 11 seats, while two seats went to Congress. In Bishnah, the BJP won six seats against seven by Independents.
In Arnia, the BJP won seven seats, independents five and Congress one, in R S Pura BJP won nine, Independents three and Congress one, in Ghmanhansan won BJP two, Congress-two, in Khour won BJP nine and Congress four and in Jourian BJP won two, Congress four and independent one, the officials said.
Final Result of ULB Polls in Jammu
Ward No 1: Purnima Sharma BJP
Ward No 2: Jagdish Kumar Independent,
Ward No 3: Narottam Sharma BJP
Ward No 4: Sunita Koul BJP
Ward No 5: Gopal Gupta BJP
Ward No 6: Mohd MohiudDin Congress
Ward No 7: Ritu Choudhary, Congress
Ward No 8: Akshay Sharma BJP
Ward No 9: Sunil Sharma BJP
Ward No 10: Anil Kumar BJP
Ward No 11: Neeta Sharma Independent
Ward No 12: Ajeet Angral BJP
Ward No 13: Rama Congress
Ward No 14: Parmod Kapahi BJP
Ward No 15: Sandhaya Gupta Independent
Ward No 16: Rajinder Sharma BJP
Ward No 17: Nidhi Malhotra BJP
Ward No 18 Dinesh Gupta BJP
Ward No 19: Amit Gupta Independent
Ward No 20: Rahul BJP
Ward No 21: Bhanu Mahajan Congress
Ward No 22: Jaideep Sharma BJP
Ward No 23: Pawan Singh BJP
Ward No 24: Anu Bali Independent
Ward No 25: Arun Khanna BJP
Ward No 26: Hardeep Singh BJP
Ward No 27: Charanjeet Kour Congress
Ward No 28: Gourav Chopra Congress
Ward No 29: Surinder Singh BJP
Ward No 30: Sonika Sharma Congress
Ward No. 31: Sucha Singh Independent
Ward No 32: Satpal BJP
Ward No 33: Chander Mohan BJP
Ward No 34: Rani Devi Independent
Ward No 35: Yashpal Sharma BJP
Ward No 36: Subash Sharma Independent
Ward No 37: Sunita Gupta Candidate
Ward No 38: Surinder Sharma BJP
Ward No 39: Rajinder Jamwal Congress
Ward No 40: Neelam BJP
Warn No 41: Sanjay Baru BJP
Ward No 42: Neelam Choudhary Independent
Ward No 43: Surjeet Singh BJP
Ward No 44: Inder Singh Independent
Ward No 45 Raj Rani BJP
Ward No 46: Dwarka Choudhary Congress
Ward No 47: Sharda Kumari BJP
Ward No 48: Sham Lal Independent
Ward No 49: Kamal Singh Congress
Ward No 50: Neena Gupta BJP
Ward No 51: Raj Kumar Independent
Ward No 52: Ajay Gupta BJP
Ward No 53: Jyoti Devi BJP
Ward No 54: Neeraj Puri BJP
Ward No 55: Pritam Singh Congress
Ward No 56: Baldev Billoria BJP
Ward No 57: Inderjeet Kour Congress
Ward No 58: Tirth Kour BJP
Ward No 59: Ashok Singh Independent
Ward No 60: Congress Rajni Bala Congress
Ward No 61: Mohinder Bhagat BJP
Ward No 62: Rekha Manhas BJP
Ward No 63: Kuldeep Singh BJP
Ward No 64: Kapil Singh BJP
Ward No 65: Geetu Sharma Independent
Ward No 66: Tripta Devi BJP
Ward No 67: Suraj Prakash BJP
Ward No 68: Anil Kumar BJP
Ward No 69: Gurmeet Kour BJP
Ward No 70: Narinder Singh BJP
Ward No 71: Shamma Akhter Independent
Ward No 72: Rashpal Bhardwaj Congress
Ward No 73: Yudhvir Singh Independent
Ward No 74: Shobat Ali Independent
Ward No 75: Ghar Singh Independent
BJP: 43 Wards
Congress: 14 Wards
Independent Candidates: 18 Wards