Congress-PDP alliance gains majority in last phase of civic polls
17 February 2005
Rajouri: In the last phase of civic polls in Jammu and Kashmir today, the Congress-People Democratic Alliance gained a majority. In a number of pockets, the alliance managed to win by a narrow margin. In the results declared this evening, the PDP was a major gainer in the militancy-dominated Thanna Mandi block mainly due to the consolidation of the Gujjar votebank in its favour. It won four seats, closely followed by the National Conference, which won a single seat. In Rajouri town, the Congress won five seats and the PDP two seats while the BJP won six seats. In the Sunderbani municipal body near the Line of Control, the BJP won two seats, followed by Independents who got four seats and the Congress one. In Nowshera, the Congress won four seats and the BJP a single seat. The Congress won the Poonch Municipal Council by getting 11 seats followed by the BJP which got three seats. Record voter turnout In the twin Rajouri-Poonch border districts of Jammu and Kashmir, people came in strength to take part. Polling was held for formation of four municipal committees of Rajouri district and the voter turnout was 83.81 per cent. In the Poonch Municipal Council it was 77 per cent. Since morning, there were long queues at polling stations. Polling started at 8 a.m. and by noon 62 per cent of the electorate had voted. There are 17 wards in the Poonch Municipal Council and 34 in Thanamandi, Rajouri, Noushera and Sunderbani municipal committees of Rajouri district. The wards near the Line of Control also recorded a high turnout. For instance, Sunderbani and Nowshera towns recorded 86 per cent and 84 per cent voting respectively. The border town of Poonch surrounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir on three sides recorded 77 per cent.