J&K DDC results eye-opener for BJP?

The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) swept the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls by winning 110 seats, while the BJP emerged as the single largest party by getting 74 seats after securing the largest vote share in Jammu and Kashmir. The results of four constituencies – one each in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of north Kashmir and Poonch and Rajouri districts in Jammu region – are still awaited.
While former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the results of the District Development Council polls as an eye-opener for the BJP and its "proxy political party", and said people have rejected the decision of revoking the erstwhile state's special status, BJP has garnered the highest vote share with a total 4, 28,622  votes polled in favour of the party. NC with 2, 07,579 votes are the second in the list of highest vote shares. Independents at a third place have 1, 19,558 total vote share. PDP is the fourth distant with 45,210 vote share.
BJP has also maintained its dominance in the Jammu region. Apart from winning 62 seats in Jammu region, the party has also won three seats in the Kashmir valley– one in Srinagar one in Tulail seat in Bandipora district and one in Kakpora constituency in Pulwama district.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said the results of the DDC elections have made it clear that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have voted for the Gupkar Alliance and rejected the Centre's unconstitutional decision to abrogate Article 370.
The sad thing is that the two Pakistan-occupied Kashmir nationals (PoK), who are married to former militants, are among the contestants from Dragmulla constituency in Kupwara and Hajin-A in Bandipora. However, the state Election Commissioner has directed the returning officers concerned to defer the counting of votes in the two constituencies till further orders.
The elections, held in eight phases, began on November 28 and ended on December 19. the overall voting percentage in all eight phases across Jammu and Kashmir was 51.42 per cent and over 30 lakh votes were counted at counting centres.
The major mainstream political parties including the National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference (PC) fought the polls "unitedly" under the umbrella of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). The newly floated, PAGD, was formed to work for the restoration of J&K's special status. The DDC polls were the first major political activity in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

- Prabhakar Purandare

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