October 2018 News

In Civic Bodies, Unopposed Poll Not New

17 October 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: Even as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) leaders are claiming that due to their boycott many candidates have been chosen unopposed in the local bodies elections, the poll data makes it clear that the uncontested election at the local level is not a new thing in J&K. In the 2005 civic elections, nearly 114 candidates were elected unopposed when the security situation was predominantly normal. In the just-concluded civic elections, 244 candidates have been elected unopposed and there was not even a single candidate in 177 wards, especially in south Kashmir. PDP and NC leaders have claimed that it was due to their boycott that many candidates were elected unopposed. Of the 114 candidates elected unopposed in 2005, most were from south Kashmir. The trend has been similar in 2018. The highest number of candidates, elected unopposed, in the 2005 polls were from Anantnag and Pulwama in south Kashmir where polling was held on February 6, 2005. As per the record, of the total 70 wards, only 14 in Pulwama district, had witnessed a contest as most of the candidates were elected unopposed. The PDP had swept civic bodies polls in Anantnag and Pulwama districts in 2005. Not only 114 candidates were elected unopposed in 2005 elections but no nominations were filed in a number of wards. In Khrew, there were no takers even for a single seat of the seven-member local body. Like 2018, there was a keen tussle in north Kashmir where polling was held in 113 of the total 134 wards. Jammu breaks record: The Jammu region registered a record voting in the just-concluded elections. Like 2005 elections, plains and Muslim-majority hilly districts of Jammu registered unprecedented voting. In 2005 elections, the PDP and Congress were major gainers in the division