J&K civic polls: ruling coalition sweeps first phase
29 January 2005
Baramulla: The ruling coalition of the Congress and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir today swept the first phase of the civic elections in Baramulla and Kupwara districts. They won a clear majority in seven out of nine towns which went to the polls after a gap of 27 years. The Opposition National Conference could manage a better share in Pattan and Sumbal while the resurgence of the Awami League founded by Kukka Parray was significant in Hajin where it bagged 11 out of 12 seats. The ruling coalition, which backed most of the wining independents, secured a majority in Baramulla, Sopore, Handwara, Uri, Pattan and Bandipore. With a brisk turnout, the elections were peaceful, despite a boycott call by separatist political parties and threats by militants. The State election office put the overall turnout at 49 per cent with a stunning 86 per cent in Kupwara and 48 per cent in Baramulla. Sopore recorded an all- time high of 26 per cent turnout.