Jammu and Kashmir heading for fractured verdict (Counting Trends)

December 28th, 2008 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar/Jammu, Dec 28 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir assembly was headed Sunday for another hung verdict with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference racing ahead of others.In just two hours after counting of votes began, officials said that the PDP and National Conference were leading in 13 and 12 seats, respectively, in the Kashmir region followed by 10 for BJP in the Jammu region.

The Congress, which had ruled the state for almost three years, was a poor fourth, with its candidates leading in eight seats.

The PDP and Congress formed an alliance in 2002. The state held seven-phased staggered elections, from Nov 17 to Dec 24, for its 87-member assembly.

According to the latest figures, PDP was leading on 13 seats, National Conference on 12, BJP on 10, and Congress on 8.

In the last assembly elections in 2002, the National Conference, which had emerged as the single largest party in the state, had bagged 28 seats, the Congress 20, the PDP 16 and independents 15. The Panthers Party had won four seats and the Communist Party of India-Marxist two. The BJP had won only one seat.

Sounding upbeat about the initial trends, BJP’s state unit president Ashok Khajuria said: “We will go further up.”

Former chief minister and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was leading in Bhaderwah constituency of Jammu.

Azad told a news channel that the final results were still awaited and “trends don’t represent the entire spectrum of the state”.

He, however, admitted that the Amarnath land issue helped the PDP gain in the Kashmir valley and the BJP in Jammu. “They were the architects of the issue themselves and have gained political mileage and benefits.”

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