It Was BJP V/S Congress

JAMMU: The fifth and final phase of Assembly elections ended on Saturday, with Congress and the BJP locked in a do-or-die battle in the Jammu region.

According to the political pundits the BJP for the first time made a determined push for power in Jammu and Kashmir and the Jammu outcome will be crucial to the party’s chances. They believe that the main battle in Jammu region is between Congress and BJP.

Experts suggested that the outcome of the fifth and final round of polling will largely determine whether the Congress or the BJP - among the two national parties - will play the dominant role in government formation.

As many as 213 candidates, including Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, ministers Sham Lal Sharma, Raman Bhalla, Manohar Lal Sharma, Ajay Sadhotra, former MPs and ministers Lal Singh, Talib Hussain (both BJP) and Jitendra Babu Singh and former Deputy Speaker Hyder Malik has battled in this phase.

The constituencies  which went for polls Saturday were Bani, Basohli, Billawar, Kathua and Hiranagar in Kathua district, Nagrota, Gandhinagar, Jammu East, Jammu West, Bishnah, RS Pura, Suchetgarh, Akhnoor, Chhamb, Marh and Raipur Domana in Jammu district, and Rajouri, Darhal, Kalakote and Nowshera in Rajouri district.

According to KNS correspondent it is widely believed that the assembly elections will deliver a hung house as no single political party is likely to get the simple majority of 44 seats in the 87-member Assembly.

In a fractured mandate, it will be interesting to watch who amongst the four major parties - the National Conference, the PDP, the BJP and the Congress - will embrace whom to form a government.

The  different opinion polls said that in Jammu and Kashmir, People's Democratic Party is projected to get 27-33 seats, followed by BJP with 23-29, National Conference 10-16, Congress 6-12, and others 6-12 seats. In the 2009 elections, National Conference had won 28 seats, Congress 17, PDP 21 and BJP 11 seats.KNS

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