13 candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won unopposed in the municipal corporation election at Shopian district of south Kashmir giving the party control of the corporation, reported Hindustan Times.
The terror infested district of the south Kashmir has borne witness to numerous encounters between security forces and terrorists. Terror groups earlier had threatened people to stay away from the elections.
BJP, despite the threats, fielded 13 candidates in different wards for the elections of the municipal body which has a total strength of 17. There was no opposition candidate. As per an Outlook report, the 11 out of 13 victors are Kashmiri Pandits.
“We had only one nomination each for 13 wards while no nominations were received for four other wards of the Municipal Committee, Shopian,” said an election official.
State BJP chief Ravinder Raina was extremely elated following this victory and said, “our motto is development of all and we will do justice to all kinds of people. We are extremely happy”.
Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) - two major parties of the state - had boycotted the elections on the issue of the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the constitution in the Supreme Court.
The election officials have kept the name of winning candidates a secret to ensure their safety.
Raina criticised PDP and NC for boycotting the elections and said that by not participating in the urban local polls they have made “a mockery of the democratic process”.
“The National Conference with the Congress formed the Hill Development Council in Kargil recently but in Kashmir they are running away from the democratic process,” he said.
The local body election in Jammu and Kashmir will be conducted in four phases. First phase of the election will be held on 8 October, second phase will be on 10 October, third phase on 13 October and final fourth phase will be on 16 October.