BJP fails to impress in first-ever BDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir

Despite three mainstream parties boycotting Block Development Council, BJP fared poorly in the one-sided contest; party says exercise was a learning experience
In Kashmir, the BJP won 18 of 128 blocks, polls for which were held Thursday | PTI
In Kashmir, the BJP won 18 of 128 blocks, polls for which were held Thursday | PTI

SRI NAGAR: The BJP failed to impress in the first-ever Block Development Council (BDC) polls held in Jammu and Kashmir despite the three main parties in the state — the National Conference, the Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — boycotting the exercise.Of the 307 BDC blocks, which went to polls in J&K on Thursday, the saffron party managed to win only 81. Independent candidates swept the polls winning 217 blocks while J&K National Panthers Party bagged 8.

Even in its stronghold Jammu, the BJP managed to win only 52 blocks out of the total 148 in the division. In 10 districts of Jammu, BJP won 7 blocks out of 13 in Kishtwar, 5 out of 17 in Doda, 2 out of 11 in Ramban, 4 of 12 in Reasi, 4 out of 17 in Udhampur, 9 of 19 in Kathua, 4 of 9 in Samba, 9 out of 20 in Jammu, 8 of 19 in Rajouri and 0 out of 11 in Poonch.

In 10 districts of Kashmir region, the party won only 18 out of the 128 blocks — 3 in Anantnag, 8 in Shopian, 4 in Pulwama, 2 in Budgam and only 1 out of 26 in Baramulla. The party could not win a single block in Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Srinagar and Kulgam.In Ladakh division, the saffron party won 11 out of 31 BDCs — 7 out of 16 in Leh and 4 out of 15 in Kargil.

A senior J&K BJP leader said party’s core group leaders reviewed the results. “It was felt that we need to study the election result and work on this so that party can perform better in next election,” he said. He said the result is good learning experience; the party has taken lessons and would correct what went wrong.

However, BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ashok Koul said party was satisfied with the results. It won a seat in Sopore in north Kashmir and for the first time won 4 seats in Muslim-majority Kargil.
“It was not a one-sided contest; parties like NC, Congress and PDP had fielded proxy candidates,” Koul said.

Proxy candidates
BJP’s Ashok Koul said the party fielded a few indepe- ndents as proxies of whom some won. “Our final tally is higher than official 81”.

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