Srinagar/Jammu: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was set to make history in Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday as counting of votes polled in assembly elections put it close behind the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In what is being seen as a stunning show, BJP candidates had surged ahead in 21 of the 74 constituencies where counting trends were available. The PDP was ahead of others in 31 places.
The ruling National Conference fared badly, its candidates taking the lead in just 15 of the 87 constituencies. Its estranged ally, the Congress, was set for a rout. It was ahead in only six seats.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said: “This will be a turning point for BJP and for Jammu and Kashmir politics.”
The BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned vigorously in Jammu and Kashmir with a pledge to win 44 seats — and assume power on its own for the first time.
A total of 48.29 lakh votes are to be counted.
Most exit polls have predicted a hung assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.
Among those on the winning track were PDP leader and former chief minister Saeed (Anantnag), Chief Minister Omar Abdullah (Sonawar) and Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand (Chhamb).