New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken an unassailable lead in the Jharkhand Assembly but is losing to Mufti Sayeed’s People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir.
Though the BJP put up a good fight, its best in the state so far, its gains were mainly in the Jammu region. It could not make a dent in the Valley where PDP is the clear winner. The National Conference and the Congress have been the major losers. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was defeated in both the Sonawar and Beerwah Assembly constituencies.
In Jharkhand, the BJP alliance is well on course to form the government. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said earlier the party would forms governments in both states. The PDP is fast emerging as the single-largest party in Jammu and Kashmir with the BJP a close second.
The elections in the two states, which stretched for nearly a month, saw 66 per cent voting with authorities making massive security arrangements to prevent any attempts by militants or Maoists to disrupt the polls. “All security arrangements are in place at the counting centres,” an official at the Election Commission said.
Jammu and Kashmir
Alliance Lead + Results
In Jammu and Kashmir, where polling was held for 87 seats, the turnout was the highest after 1987 despite boycott calls by separatists and militants. The militancy-hit state has seen a quadrangular fight among the ruling National Conference, main Opposition PDP, BJP, and the Congress, which parted ways with the NC ahead of the polls.
Alliance Lead + Results
Altogether 1,136 candidates, including 111 women, contested in Jharkhand which has an electorate of 2,08,52,437, including 98,93,540 women voters. Out of the total seats, 28 are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes and nine for the Scheduled Castes. Jharkhand, which has seen nine governments and three stints of President’s Rule in 14 years of existence, saw fractured mandates in the 2005 and 2009 Assembly elections.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), headed by CM Hemant Soren, is seeking to retain power in the face of a challenge from the BJP. Most political observers and opinion polls are predicting a hung Assembly in J&K. There is speculation about various political parties trying to work out an alliance, depending on the numbers thrown up on Tuesday. The ongoing elections will be a litmus test for the BJP, which is making its first serious foray in Jammu and Kashmir to form government.
The Congress will be hoping to stay relevant in state politics after being routed in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.