The Bharatiya Janata Party has suffered humiliating defeat in the Kashmir Valley with 33 of its 34 Assembly candidates losing their security deposit in the elections.
The party had fielded 34 candidates out of the 46 constituencies in the Valley hoping to give a tough fight to rival candidates, but they failed to secure even their own deposits.
Even the party ‘s Muslim face in the Valley, Dr Hina Shafi Bhat, who was given considerable publicity and importance by the BJP failed to save her security desposit. Far from winning the seat, as she was projected to, Bhat got only 1359 votes losing the Amirakadal seat to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Hina, who had sparked a controversy by allegedly slapping an election officer during polling which she denied later, was banking on her father’s clout who was once a legislator with the National Conference. However, she failed to impress the voters.
Moti Koul, the BJP’s candidate from Habba Kadal in Srinagar district, was the only one who managed to save his security deposit. He was contesting from the constituency which recorded only 21 per cent voter turnout.
Koul was also under the threat of losing his security deposit till the migrant votes were counted, which propelled him from seventh position to the runners-up.
He lost to Shamima Firdous of National Conference(NC) by a margin of over 2,000 votes.
The other BJP candidates were way behind in most of the constituencies in the Valley from their nearest rivals, as was evident from the Election Commission data.
It is important to mention here that as per the rules, a candidate loses his deposit if the number of votes he/she gets is less than one-sixth of the total valid votes cast in the constituency.
BJP’s Shopian candidate Javed Ahmad Qadri managed to get over 3,300 votes but lost the security deposit due to the higher voter turnout in the constituency in south Kashmir.
Similarly Masood-ul-Hassan, fighting from Hazratbal constituency, polled 2,635 votes but he too could not save his deposit.
Other Prominent BJP nominees who got over 1,000 votes were Zubair Ahmad Wani from Batmaloo (1,304) and Dharakshan Indrabi from Sonawar (1,100) in terms of number of votes polled.
In another major embarrassment, the BJP candidate from Zadibal Constituency Neelam Gash received only 360 votes, fortifying her deposit. [Courtesy: TheCitizen]