SRINAGAR In an election with 231 candidates winning unopposed and 185 wards going uncontested for want of contenders, independents on Saturday emerged as the single largest group in the Urban local body polls in Kashmir by winning 178 wards across 42 municipal bodies in Kashmir division, including Leh and Kargil, elections authorities said.
The Congress was ahead of the BJP in the valley by bagging 157 wards, while saffron party won in 100 wards including 76 uncontested, they said.
The boycott helped both the BJP and the Congress in a major way as 76 and 78 candidates from the respective national parties were elected unopposed.
While the BJP emerged as the single largest party in 12 municipal bodies, it has majority in five of these bodies. The Congress was the single largest party in 15 bodies, having majority in 11 of them, they said.
In the prestigious Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), the Congress won 16 seats and the BJP won in four wards. Independents bagged the 53 seats in the 74-member body.
Junaid Azim Mattu, who resigned from NC to contest the elections, was among the prominent winners. He had contested from four wards and won from three.
Congress has won 157 followed 100 seats by BJP, 76 of them uncontested.
After completion of the counting, independents were declared winners on 103 of the seats were election were held and remaining 75 were won by them uncontested.
Similarly, among 157 candidates belonging to Congress, 78 seats were won by the party uncontested.
In Srinagar, there were 74 wards and 66 among them saw the contest while eight, four each Congress and independent candidates, were won uncontested. Among the 66 wards were election took place, 49 independent candidates won while 12 were won by Congress and four by BJP.
In all, there were 624 wards in Kashmir and among them 208 saw contest, 231 wards were won by candidates uncontested while 185 remained vacant. The counting took place at Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC).
Election to the urban local body polls was held in four phases from October 8 to October 16. There are over 3,000 candidates who contested the 1,145 wards across the state. In Kashmir, which has 624 wards, at least 231 candidates were elected unopposed while no candidates contested in 185 wards. The voter turnout in the polls was low, with 8.3 per cent votes cast in the first phase on October 8, 3.4 per cent in the second phase on October 10, 3.49 per cent in the third phase on October 13 and 4.2 per cent in the last phase on October 16. The overall percentage was 35.1 per cent.
During voting, there were no signs of any electioneering in the run up to the polls boycotted by National Conference and PDP.
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