New Delhi, December 23 – The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was set to make history in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday as counting of votes polled in the five-phased Assembly elections put it ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was earlier tipped to emerge as the single largest party.
In what is being seen as a stunning show, the BJP candidates had surged ahead in 24 of the 87 constituencies, one seat ahead of the PDP which was leading in 23 seats at 9.45 am. Amit Shah had earlier this year announced his party’s ambitious Mission 44 plus in the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had campaigned vigorously in Jammu and Kashmir, where the party had won three of the six Lok Sabha seats in Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.
The ruling National Conference is faring badly with its candidates leading in just 14 seats while their estranged coalition partner, the Congress, were at 13. Shahnawaz Hussain of the BJP said, “Kashmir se lekar Jharkhand tak kamal hi kamal dikh rahe hain (It’s only lotus in both Jharkhand and Kashmir).”
“People in Jammu and Kashmir have to be slauted for coming out in large numbers to vote. It is the victory of India,” senior BJP leader Tarun Vijay said, referring to the record turnout in the state.
Meanwhile, the BJP looks set to continue with its dream run in Jharkhand, where the party was leading in 39 of the 81 seats. The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidates were ahead in 17 seats, the Congress in six and two smaller parties were in five seats each.