SRINAGAR: BJP, which emerged as the second largest party in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections, may have drawn a blank in Kashmir and Ladakh regions but 14 of its 25 winning candidates in the Jammu region scored emphatic victories over their nearest rivals.
Sat Pal Sharma, who won from Jammu-West Assembly segment, has the highest margin of victory as he defeated Congress candidate Surinder Singh Shingari by 50,629 votes.
Thirteen other BJP candidates had a winning margin of more than 10,000 votes over their nearest rival -- a feat achieved by only three non-BJP winners in the 87-member Legislative Assembly.
The second largest margin of victory was registered by BJP's Kuldeep Raj from Hira Nagar constituency as he won by 39,284 votes. Bali Bhagat won from Raipur-Domana seat by a margin of over 32,000 votes. D K Manyal from Samba won by 22,118 votes while Dina Nath won from Chenani by 20,332 votes.
The other BJP candidates who won by a margin of more than 10,000 votes are Lal Singh (Basohli), N K Singh (Billawar), R S Pathania (Ram Nagar), Kavinder Gupta (Gandhi Nagar), Krishan Lal (Chamb), Gagan Bhagat (R S Pura), Chander Prakash (Vijaypur), Sukhnandan (Marh) and Rajesh Gupta (Jammu East).
The high margin of victory for BJP candidates stands out against rest of the parties in the state as only three candidates from other parties could win by over 10,000 votes.
Congress MLA from Inderwal Ghulam Mohammad Saroori won by 12,370 votes while his party colleague from Kargil Asgar Ali Karbalaie won by 10,505 votes. Indepedent candidate from Udhampur Pawan Kumar Gupta won by a margin of 14,650 votes.
No candidate from PDP or National Conference, the two regional parties, won by a margin of over 10,000 votes.
The lowest victory margin among the BJP's candidates was 1,496 for Dalip Singh from Bhaderwah while Ajay Nanda prevailed over his rival by 1,887 votes from Reasi constituency.
On the other end of the spectrum, there were 10 Assembly segments where the victory margin was less than 1,000 votes including Beerwah constituency where Chief Minister Omar
Abdullah won by 910 votes.
Gurez Assembly segment along the Line of Control in Bandipora district had the narrowest margin of just 141 votes in favour of National Conference candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan.
Peoples' Conference candidate from Kupwara seat Bashir Ahmad Dar won by 151 votes while Syed Farooq Ahmad Andrabi defeated Congress candidate and Tourism Minister Ghulam Ahmad Mir from Dooru segment by 161 votes.
The lone CPI(M) MLA in state Assembly Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami won a fourth consecutive term from Kulgam constituency. His victory margin of 334 votes might just get him labelled as a 'scrapper' as he had won by just 236 votes in 2008.
Although BJP increased its tally in the Assembly from 11 seats in 2008 to 25 this year, the party gave mandate to only two incumbent legislators -- Sukhnandan from Marh and Sham Lal Chaudhary (Suchetgarh) -- and both of them retained their
BJP did not give mandate to seven sitting MLAs while it had expelled former Union Minister Chaman Lal Gupta, who won on party ticket in 2008, over the issue of cross-voting during elections for Legislative Council few years ago.
Jugal Kishore Sharma, who won from Nagrota in 2008, was not contesting the Assembly polls following his success in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.