Rift in coalition as BJP elects its own candidate to LC

The BJP on Monday reneged on its promise to the coalition partner PDP to vote for its candidate in the legislative council elections and instead supported its own candidate in the keen contest which was witnessed on Monday.

Earlier an electoral understanding was reached between PDP and BJP that latter will give first preference of votes to PDP candidate. But during the elections which were held today both BJP candidate, Vikram Randawah and PDP candidate, got equal votes following which the election was decided on the draw of lots.

Legislative Assembly Secretary, Mohammad Ramzan, said both the PDP and BJP candidate got equal votes following which the election was decided on the draw of lots. “While Congress candidate got 31 votes, PDP and BJP candidates got 29 votes each,’’ he said.

BJP has strength of 26 members while PDP has 29 MLAs in the legislative assembly including the nominated member. However, in the contest today PDP candidate Abdul Qayoom Dar lost the elections, which is in contravention to the understanding that was reached between two coalition partners.

Two MLAs of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) also voted for BJP along with independent MLA from Zanskar, Syed Baqir Rizvi, due to which BJP candidate Vikram Randhawa won the elections.

However NC-Congress received a shot in the arm as the independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta voted for their candidate Balbir Singh and together with the vote of Engineer Abdul Rashid, Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami and Hakeem Mohammed Yasin he secured 31 votes. In the six seats of legislative council, BJP won 3 seats, PDP one, and NC and Congress one each.

While five seats had turned vacant due to the retirement of candidates, elections had become necessary for another seat due to the demise of MLC, D S Oberio. On the three seats of Kashmir and one seat reserved for Poonch, no contest was witnessed earlier and the candidates were declared elected unopposed.

From the three seats of Kashmir for which a single notification was issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), PDP’s, Yasir Reshi, BJP’s, G L Raina and NC’s, Aga Syed Mehmood have already been declared as elected. On the seat which was reserved for Poonch, BJP’s Pradeep Sharma was declared as a winning candidate.

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