Jammu, Dec 24: Jammu and Kashmir assembly result has thrown up a fractured mandate. Though Peoples Democratic Party came out as single largest party (28 seats) in the election, but it still fell short of required majority in 87 membered assembly.
On the other side, Modi-led BJP's hope to achieve 'Mission 44' also didn't get materialised in true manner. The saffron party had to satisfy themselves with only 25 seats.
Days of ignominy continued for Congress as it was relegated to number four after National Conference in the election.
Most surprising is that for the first time in the political history of Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim candidate has won the elections on a BJP ticket by triumphing over a Hindu contestant of National Conference in Kalakote Assembly seat of Rajouri district.
In 1972, Sheikh Abdul Rehman had won on Bhartiya Jan Sang ticket
Abdul Gani Kohli of BJP defeated two-time NC MLA Rashpal Singh by a margin of 6,178 votes.
Mr. Kohli polled 25,225 votes compared to Singh who got 19,047 votes. Congress's Ashok Sharma and PDP's Asad Bari Shah stood third and fourth with 10,520 votes and 8,325 votes respectively.
In a bid to shun its "saffron party" image, BJP fielded 31 Muslim candidates, including Mr. Kohli and most of them contested polls from the Kashmir Valley.
While majority of these candidates have lost, Mr. Kohli is the first BJP candidate from Muslim community who has won from Jammu region in past several decades.
Before this, Sheikh Abdul Rehman had won Jammu East seat in 1972 polls on the ticket of the then Bhartiya Jan Sang.
"I am very happy to win this election on a BJP ticket. People have voted on the development plank of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Mr. Kohli said.
He thanked people for their support and said that he would ensure overall development of his constituency.
Kalakote Assembly seat, which was carved out to give representation to the far-flung areas of the state in the Assembly in 1996, was twice bagged by NC and once by Congress.
Only 4 Muslim MLAs in BJP
After winning 25 seats in J&K, the total number of BJP MLAs have risen to 1016 now. But surprisingly, out of this colossal number of saffron legislators, only 4 are the Muslims.
This includes two from Rajasthan, one from Bihar and J&K each.
In Maharashtra assembly election only nine Muslims candidate were elected. Similarly, in Haryana state election also only 3 got people's mandate.