The independents have an edge over the BJP and the Congress in over a dozen municipal bodies.
Independent candidates got a lion’s share of seats in the urban local body (ULB) polls, especially in Muslim-dominated districts of Jammu, winning 185 wards out of 521 spread across the region.
They have presented a good show in all the 10 districts which registered a high voter turnout in the recently concluded ULB polls held after a gap of 13 years.
In the two municipal committees of Poonch district — 17-member Poonch and 13-member Surankote — the independent candidates won 23 seats, while the Congress and the BJP had to soothe with four and three seats, respectively, the officials said.
In the adjoining Rajouri district, independents won seven-member Kalakote municipal committee, while the BJP swept 13-member Sunderbani with 10 seats against three by independents and 13-member Noushera by winning seven against three each by the Congress and independents, they said.
The Congress won 13-member municipal committee Thanamandi by winning nine seats while four seats went to independents, the officials said, adding that 17-member Rajouri municipal committee witnessed a tough fight with the Congress, the BJP and independents getting seven, six and four seats, respectively.
In 13 wards of Kishtwar district, the officials said independents won 10 seats, while the Congress and the BJP won two and one seat, respectively.
Independents also enjoyed popular support in Doda district where they won 18 wards, out of total 37 of the three municipal committees of Doda, Bhaderwah and Thatri. The Congress got 12 and the BJP won seven wards.
In Ramban district, the Congress swept Banihal municipal committee winning all the seven wards, while Batote handed over four seats to the BJP, one to the Congress and two to independents.
In Ramban municipal committee, six seats were shared by the BJP, Congress and independents, while the election for one ward was countermanded due to the death of a BJP candidate on the polling day in the second phase on October 10.
Samba district also witnessed a record number of 27 independent candidates emerging as victorious followed by the BJP (18), the Congress (nine) and the National Panthers Party (two) in the four municipal committees of Samba, Vijaypur, Ramgarh and Bari Brahmana having a total strength of 56 wards, the officials said.
Barring Bari Brahmana where BJP had got seven seats and independents six, the rest of the municipalities have independents heading the chart.
In nearby Kathua district having one council and five municipal committees, independents won 27 of the total 80 seats. The BJP had won 34 seats and the Congress got 19 seats in the district.
In the Jammu Municipal Corporation, the BJP won by 43 seats, out of 75, while the independents emerged second with 18 seats followed by the Congress with 14.
Seven other municipal committees of Jammu district having a total strength of 79 wards saw independents winning 16 seats, leading the chart in Bishnah.
The rest of the seats were shared by the BJP (49) and the Congress (14), the officials said.
Nine independents emerged victorious in Udhampur municipal council followed by the National Panthers Party (six), the BJP (four) and the Congress (two) — much to the surprise of the saffron party which was expecting a victory of its candidates given the constituency being represented by Union Minister Jitendra Singh in Parliament.
The two other committees of Udhampur — Ramnagar and Chenani — saw the BJP winning 10 seats, National Panthers Party got five seats, independents won four seats and the Congress got one.
In Reasi district, the BJP headed the chart with 13 seats followed by independents (nine) and the Congress (four).