Independents may play spoilsport for BJP, Cong in Udhampur, Katra

A long queue of women voters at a polling centre in Udhampur. —Excelsior/K Kumar
A long queue of women voters at a polling centre in Udhampur. —Excelsior/K Kumar

In Ramnagar, it’s NPP vs BJP; Reasi BJP vs Cong

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Oct 10: The Independent candidates may play spoilsport for the BJP and Congress in Udhampur and Katra Municipal Committees’ elections while in Reasi there is direct fight between BJP and Congress whereas, in Ramnagar, it is said to be ‘Panthers versus BJP’.
In Udhampur Municipal Council jurisdiction, there are 21 Wards and total 125 candidates were trying their luck in the elections. Out of the total, 69 are the Independent candidates. While BJP has fielded its candidates in all 21 Wards, Congress has given mandate to only 19 while NPP is contesting in only 16 Wards. There are total 30166 votes in Udhampur, out of which 15459 are males and 14707 females. A total 48 polling stations had been set up by the elections authorities in all the 21 wards.
Pawan Gupta, sitting Independent MLA from Udhampur has also fielded his candidates in all 21 Wards. The political analysts believe that in Udhampur Municipal Council elections, Independents may take the lead and play spoilsport for BJP and Congress this time as sitting MLA still holds strong position in the town. He has fielded almost all the candidates having clean image and good reputation in their respective Wards.
Katra Municipal Committee, which is said to be the richest and highest revenue earning Committee in the region, may witness direct contest between BJP and the Independents group led by Ambrish Magotra alias Ashu, a former President/Chairman of Katra MC, supported by former MLA Baldev Sharma. Congress may also manage some seats here but a few old loyalists have turned neutral after being ignored in the election process, the party sources said.
So, the main contest is likely between Ashu group and the BJP.
As per political analysts, in Reasi Municipal Committee, having 13 Wards and 5674 voters, there is direct contest between the BJP and Congress in elections. Congress has fielded candidates in all the 13 Wards in Reasi, BJP in 12 Wards while Panthers Party was contesting only six. There are 20 Independent candidates trying their luck in MC Reasi. Total 93 candidates were in fray in entire district Reasi.
Interestingly, Chenani which once remained strong hold of NPP having its elected MLA (Faqir Nath now in Cong) from there, could field just one candidate out of seven Wards. There is direct contest between BJP and Congress there, which have fielded their candidates from all the seven Wards. Five are the Independents contesting there while total 20 candidates are trying their luck from MC Chenani. There are total 1405 voters including 707 females and 698 males in MC Chenani jurisdiction and highest 88.26 poll percentage was witnessed there today.
In Ramnagar Municipal Committee having 13 Wards and 3782 electorates, 1934 are males and 1848 females. There is direct contest between NPP and BJP as both the parties have fielded their candidates from all the 13 wards. Congress has given mandate to 12 candidates in Ramnagar while nine are Independent candidates trying their luck. Total 47 candidates are contesting Ramnagar MC elections.
In entire Udhampur district, there are 192 candidates contesting elections from 41 Wards, out of which 83 are Independents. BJP has fielded total 41 candidates, Congress 38 and JKNPP 30 candidates in the district.