-By Pawas Verma
Unshackling the caste barriers in the state, the rejuvenated BJP has immensely swept the state with the magical Modi-wave. The party has bagged all the seven seats reserved for the SC community this year.
For the first time in the political history of Jammu and Kashmir, BJP has grabbed all the seven seats with giant majority while in the previous elections the saffron party has struggled to grab these seats. Assembly Elections 2008 could not make her clench more than four and in 2002 the party could not even win a single reserved seat.
The heated magic of the Modi-wave in the state is what recorded such historic victory of the party in the Jammu region. The resolute face of the Congress, Tara Chand, who served as the Deputy Chief Minister in the Omar-led government lost his seat to Dr. Krishan Lal Bhagat by a margin of nearly 15000 votes. Tara Chand had won three consecutive elections from his seat- Chhamb, since 1996 and the political novice from BJP defeated him with a margin of 14790 votes.
Apart from Dr Krishan Lal Bhagat, the saffron party had fielded two doctors-Dr Devinder Manyal and Dr Gagan Bhagat- from the reserved constituencies of Samba and RS Pura respectively. While Dr. Manyal resigned as the BMO before filing his nomination, Dr. Bhagat runs a clinic in the border town of RS Pura. The two BJP faces defeated two-time Panther Party MLA Yash Pal Kundal and PDP nominee Bushan Lal with a margin of over 22118 and 13610 votes, respectively.
Another Congress leader from Hiranagar– Girdhari Lal was defeated by Kuldeep Raj, another fresh face from BJP , by a huge margin of 39284 votes. Out of all, only Ramban seat witnessed a narrow victory of the party compared to the rest of the seats which observed a minimum margin of over 10,000 votes, evidently conveying the party has won a mammoth chunk of Dalit Votes this time.
In the 37 Assembly seats of Jammu region, the Dalit share of votes constitutes nearly 22 to 25 per cent of the total electorate. While in the previous elections, the Dalit share of votes was shared by either the BSP or Congress, the BJP this time overruled the two shrinking parties and managed to secure a massive percentage of Dalit Votes.