The BJP suffered a defeat in the Rajya Sabha elections from the Jammu and Kashmir. Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the opposition in the RS, defeated BJP candidate Chander Mohan Sharma. The PDP won two and the BJP one seat. The elections were held for the four seats.
Fayaz Ahmad Mir and Nazir Ahmad Laway of the PDP and Shamsher Singh Manhas of the BJP were the other winners. Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo and Nasir Aslam Wani of NC lost the election. However, it was for the first time ever BJP has won RS seat from the State.
The Election Commission has issued three notification for the four seats.As per which, while elections for the two seats will be held separately, while for the third and the fourth seat a single notification was issued and on it the voter-elected MLAs-were to vote either of the one candidate. PDP and BJP had fielded two candidate on this notification while NC and Congress had nominated only Azad.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the BJP have contested two seats each in an understanding, a precursor to the formal alliance for government formation. The PDP-BJP alliance having support of two MLAs of Sajjad Lone’s People Conference and one independent MLA from Udhampur- who was denied ticket by the BJP- having 56 seats- secured three seats.
The BJP candidate lost to Azad, who had support of 15 MLAs of NC and 12 Congress MLAs, by three votes. Azad secured crucial support of three independents: Hakim Yaseen, MY Tarigami (CPM) and Engineer Rashid, all from the Kashmir region. Azad had lost the parliamentary elections to the BJP’s Jitendra Singh, MoS in the PMO.
Azad and former CM Omar Abdullah had alleged that BJP using its power has directed government officials to approach MLAs for securing their vote.
“We are not buying votes but there are reports that some serving police and civil officials are working to buy vote for the BJP candidate,” Omar told reporters after casting his vote. NC and Congress had pitched the election as contest between secular and ‘communal’ forces.
“I haven’t voted against BJP but for me commitment to Azad, who is my close friend. It was also a vote to strengthen secular traditions of the State,” said Hakim Yaseen.