Srinagar: The Bharatiya Janata Party has made substantial gains in Jammu and Kashmir at the cost of the National Conference and the Congress but is unlikely to cross Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party hurdle.
Latest trends show the BJP and the PDP are locked in a close contest to emerge as the largest party.
The Congress and National Conference are doing better than what exit polls predicted but the state is heading for a hung Assembly.
BJP’s bolstered performance, the best in Jammu and Kashmir so far, has been limited to the Jammu region which has 37 seats. The party has not bee able to make any headway in the Valley which has 46 seats.
As trends make clear that it will be a hung Assembly, a government can be formed only if two of the four major parties – PDP, NC, BJP and Congress – come together.
Last elections National Conference had won 28, PDP 21, Congress 17 and BJP 11.
- Omar Abdullah trailing from Beerwah in Budgam district by 131 votes
- Congress’s Vikar Rasool Wani wins from Banihal constituency in J&K
- PDP leader and MP Muzaffar Baig says easy for PDP to ally with Congress than BJP
- PDP’s Mohammad Ashraf Mir defeats chief minister Omar Abdullah from Sonawar constituency
- People’s Conference’s Sajjad Lone wins from Handwara in J&K
- BJP’s Kuldip Raj wins Hiranagar constituency in J&K defeating Cong’s Girdhari Lal Chalotra.
- Raja Manzoor Ahmed of PDP wins Karnah Assembly seat defeating sitting NC MLA Kafil-ul Rehman by 5775 votes
- BJP’s Hina Bhat loses to PDP candidate in Amira Kadal
- PDP’s Mufti Mohammad Sayeed wins from Anantnag in Kashmir
- It’s a historic development that BJP has succeeded to bring Kashmir to the national front, says Subramanian Swamy.
- Will prefer to sit in opposition, says Former separatist Sajjad Gani Lone
- Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says the way exit polls showed that BJP/PDP is making a clean sweep it isn’t so. We would never go with BJP, as for PDP & NC we have had alliance with them in the past too, let’s see what happens.
- People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone says these are just early trends, counting still in progress but I am happy, lets see what happens.
- PDP said engagement is inevitable with the BJP as they are the ruling party at the Centre.
- National Conference leader, Ratanlal Gupta says NC will play a key role in govt formation in J&K.
- Omar Abdullah leads by 240 votes in Berwah, trails by 1800 votes in Sonwar.
- BJP J&K president, Jugal Kishore said People have faith in Modiji, will form govt there.
- Chief Minister Omar Abdullah trailing by over 1858 votes from PDP candidate Mohammad Ashraf Mir in Sonawar Assembly segment.
- BJP leader Tarun Vijay said people in J&K have to be saluted for coming out in large numbers to vote, it is a victory for India.
- BJP’s Ravinder Rana trailing by 2377 votes in Nowshera constituency in J&K.
- PDP’s Mufti Mohd Sayeed leading from Anantnag.
- Deputy Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Chhamb Tara Chand trailing behind Krishan Lal of BJP by a margin of 2110 votes.
- PDP has made major inroads not just in Kashmir but also in Jammu region, said PDP’s Rashneek Kher.
- Sajjad Lone leads in Handwara.
- Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah leading from Berwah.
- BJP’s Hina Bhat leading from Amira Kadal seat in Srinagar.
- Unauthorized persons are not allowed inside counting centres, adequate security arrangements made, said Uttam Chand, SP Jammu.
- BJP will create history in J&K. The huge turnout during the BJP rallies was historic, said Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO.
- BJP leaders say we will create history in J&K and Jharkhand.
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 ruling National Conference, main opposition PDP, BJP and Congress, which parted ways with NC ahead of the polls.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who led NC’s bid to retain power, and Opposition PDP’s chief ministerial candidate Mufti Mohammad Sayeed are among the 821 candidates.
While Omar contested from Beerwah seat in Budgam district and Sonawar seat in Srinagar, Sayeed is seeking re-election from Anantnag Assembly segment in the south Kashmir district.
Most of the observers will keenly watch the result of Handwara Assembly constituency in north Kashmir Kupwara district where separatist-turned mainstream politician Sajjad Gani Lone is trying his luck.
Counting centres have been set-up at all district headquarters in the state.
“28 counting centres consisting of 94 halls have been set-up to conduct the counting process at all district headquarters,” state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umang Narula said here.
More than one counting centre has been set-up in districts like Kupwara, Baramulla and Doda, he added.
Police has made elaborate security arrangements for the counting in the Valley and a strategy has been put in place to deal with any law and order problem, which may arise during or after the counting.
A total of 821 candidates, including 276 independents, contested the elections to the 87-member House.
Most political observers and opinion polls are predicting a hung Assembly in Jammu and Kashmir. There are speculations about various political parties trying to work out an alliance, depending on the numbers thrown up.
Omar’s National Conference, which was the single-largest part in 2008 polls winning 28 seats, is facing an uphill task to retain its position.
PDP, which had 21 members in the 11th Assembly, is expecting to be the single-largest party, riding on the anti-incumbency and anger among the flood victims.
However, the party leadership is silent about any post-poll alliance so far.
The ongoing elections will be a litmus test as much for BJP, which is making its first serious foray in Jammu and Kashmir to form a government, as for Congress, which will be hoping to stay relevant in the state politics following the massive rout in Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.
BJP launched an aggressive campaign as part of its ‘Mission 44+’ — the magic number required for simple majority in the state Assembly — during which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several top leaders of the party addressed election rallies across the state.
The election outcome will also judge BJP’s assessment of its chances of making inroads into the only Muslim-majority state of the country. The party did not name a chief ministerial candidate. BJP had 11 MLAs and any increase in the tally this year will be claimed as a Modi victory.
The party is hoping to make gains in the two states after wresting Haryana and Maharashtra two months ago.
While the NC is already claiming a victory, some party leaders are giving away a sense of uneasiness over the results.
Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said National Conference will sit in the opposition if it did not get the numbers to form the next government.
Congress, which had 17 MLAs, on the other hand has softened the election rhetoric. Instead of claiming to be the single-largest party, the party leaders are maintaining that no government formation will be possible without Congress involvement.
National Conference and Congress, which were coalition partners for the past six years in the state but decided to go alone in the Assembly polls, fought a bitter war of words during the election campaign.
In 2008 polls, NC had won 28 seats, Congress 17 and PDP 21. BJP had 11, Panthers’ Party 3 and CPM had one. Independents had bagegd six seats.
The term of Jammu and Kashmir assembly ends on January 19.