|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Oct 23: Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections were held in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh State on October 8, 10, 13 and 16. Results were declared on October 20. Ever since then, J&K BJP leadership has been celebrating the poll outcome suggesting that it performed exceedingly well and defeated all their political foes. The manner in which the BJP has been celebrating what it terms as a very good performance in the ULB polls has only amused the J&K-watchers and those who keep a watch on the BJP activities and their impact.
The J&K-watchers and those who analyze polls and the nature of the mandate are simply laughing at the BJP leadership. They are asking "what is BJP celebrating?" "The BJP is celebrating its humiliating defeat in both its core constituencies - Jammu and Ladakh - only to fool the party high command and the Prime Minister and the country as a whole," they are asserting while reacting to the BJP's "victory celebrations". They are also saying, and rightly, that "after the civic polls, the BJP has become just one-district party". "The BJP after the civic polls has become only Jammu-district party, where it also last elections in two towns - Bishnah and Khour," they are saying.
It is a fact that the BJP, which controlled Leh Autonomous Hill Development Council and which was also representing the whole of Ladakh in Lok Sabha, even failed to open its account. It didn't win even one out of the 26 wards in the strategic Ladakh region.
In Jammu, the BJP, which had got 32.5 per cent votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 22.5 per cent votes six months later in the assembly polls, also suffered humiliating defeat in 9 out of 10 districts - Kathua, Samba, Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Reasi, Ramban, Kishtwar and Doda. In these 9 districts, the BJP could win only five municipal councils, one each in Kathua's Hiranagar and Reasi's Katra; two in Rajouri's Nowshehra and Sunderwani; and one in Ramban's Batote and that was all.
In Jammu city itself, the party also lost its face. It got 51 per cent less votes in the civic polls as compared to its vote-share in the city during the assembly elections. In the assembly elections, the BJP had got 1,48,061 votes, but in the 2018 just-held ULB polls, the BJP got only 72,603 votes from the Jammu East, the Jammu West and the Gandhinagar assembly segments. In other words, it got 75,578 votes less than to its vote share of 1,48,061.