Jammu all set to witness triangular contests

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/8/2018 4:52:35 PM

BJP, Cong rebels likely to play spoilsport

JAMMU, Oct 7: Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu region, going to polls in first phase of Urban Local Bodies elections tomorrow, are all set to witness triangular contests in majority of local bodies, including 75 wards of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC).
And this will be so, notwithstanding the fact that Congress and BJP are engaged in direct contest, among the major mainstream political parties all across the state, following the announcement of poll boycott by other two major regional parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Interestingly, it is the presence of an overwhelming number of rebels from both the parties, not any other strong regional force in fray, which is making the contest triangular.
Even in case of 75 wards of Jammu Municipal Corporation, the Congress and BJP rebels are contesting as independent candidates against the official candidates at least in 40 to 45 wards, besides the candidates of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, Shiv Sena. It is this scenario, which is posing real threat to both the parties as their own rebels have the potential to play spoilsport.
Insiders in both the parties believe even if all the rebels are not able to win, they can certainly upset the applecart of the parties (BJP and Congress), by cutting into the vote-bank of their official candidates. “In case of Local Bodies polls, the winning and losing margin is very low generally and even few votes may spoil the chance of winnable candidates,” they add.
And this is general trend in majority of Locals Bodies in Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch. At some places, few NC and PDP rebels are also in fray to eat into the vote share of Congress and BJP. However, this will mainly affect Congress while BJP candidates’ prospects are being spoiled by JKNPP and Shiv Sena candidates also at some places.
The threat posed by rebels has not subsided even after their expulsion by the respective parties.
As far as Jammu Municipal Corporation is concerned, in last elections in 2005, Congress had 27 seats, while BJP had 25 seats out of 71 wards (now 75 wards). Besides there were nine independents, six NC, two PDP and one Corporator from Shiv Sena and Bahujan Samaj Party each. This time, the winning party will have to procure 38 seats to reach simple majority mark and it will not be a cake walk for them.
In Jammu region, besides Jammu Municipal Corporation, seven Municipal bodies in Jammu, five in Rajouri and two in Poonch in three districts of Jammu region, will go to polls in the Phase-I. Jammu district has maximum number of seven Urban Local Bodies including Bishnah, Arnia, RS Pura, Ghou Manhasan, Akhnoor, Jourian and Khour. Four candidates including three in Thanna Mandi and one in Nowshera, both Municipal Committees in Rajouri district, have already been elected unopposed. Rajouri district has five Municipal Committees including Rajouri, Thanna Mandi, Sunderbani, Kalakote and Nowshera. Poonch district has only two Urban Local Bodies including Poonch Municipal Council and Surankote Municipal.



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