Lotus blooms in J&K? BJP celebrates win in local polls; PAGD bags max seats


Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate affairs Anurag Thakur, shows a victory sign after BJP performance in DDC elections, in Jammu on Wednesday. (ANI)

BJP emerges as the single-largest party with 75 seats; Farooq Abdullah-led alliance gets 112  

Our Bureau

People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), led by Farooq Abdullah, bagged 112 seats in the first-ever elections to the 280 District Development Councils (DDCs) while BJP emerged as the single-largest party winning 75 seats as the counting of votes is underway.

The PAGD comprises of seven parties- Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (NC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen Shah’s Jammu and Kashmir People Democratic Front (PDF), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Javid Mustafa’s Jammu and Kashmir People Movement (JKPM), Sajjad Lone’s Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) and Muzaffar Shah’s Awami National Conference. According to the tally at 9.30 am by Jammu and Kashmir State Election Authority, NC won 67, PDP-27, PDF-2, CPIM-5, JKPM-3, JKPC-8 in the DDC elections which were held in eight phases.

Congress secured 26 seats, Altaf Bukhari’s Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party registered victory on 12 seats while Independent candidates won on 49 seats. Other parties include Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) which won 2 seats while BSP secured one seat.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina said that his party has performed well and has a clear majority in six districts in Jammu.

“BJP has performed well. We have a clear majority in six districts in Jammu. Many independents have won there. It was BJP versus all. I think the way we have come up suggests that we have won. Seven parties together were against BJP,” Raina told ANI.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir after Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party in the recently held District Development Council (DDC) election, saying that the lotus had bloomed in the Valley.

“The District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir can be surmised as a victory of democracy and a victory for the people. It is also a victory of hope and of a greater narrative of the union territory, which PM Modi had thought about. The lotus has bloomed in the Valley,” he said at a press conference. 

“The BJP won the most number of votes. The Gupkar Alliance was formed because a component of the alliance knew that they could not fight the BJP single-handed,” Prasad said, adding that the BJP had received more votes than the National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party, and the Congress combined.

“We are very proud of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and we congratulate party workers in the Valley for their hard work,” he added.

But, two days after District Development Council (DDC) results were declared, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Friday alleged that Jammu and Kashmir police and the administration were facilitating horse-trading and defections.

Taking to Twitter, Abdullah shared a picture of Yasmeena Jan who contested the election from Islamasahib in Shopian and alleged that she was joining the BJP’s B-team while she won elections on the NC mandate.

“This explains why our leaders in Shopian district are being put under “preventive arrest” by the police. J&K police & the administration are facilitating horse trading & defections. The woman shown here joining the BJP’s B-team contested & won elections on a NC mandate,” he said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister and BJP in-charge for District Development Council (DDC) elections Anurag Thakur on Tuesday expressed confidence about the party’s performance saying, people want to see new leadership take charge in Jammu and Kashmir that will help resolve issues in their constituencies.

Voters stand in a queue to collect slips to cast their votes for the 8th phase of the DDC elections, at Bandipora in North Kashmir (ANI)

“People want to see new leadership take charge in Jammu and Kashmir that will help resolve issues in their constituencies,” Thakur said while speaking to ANI. “Even though people were threatened, they came out in huge numbers to cast their votes. This is the victory of democracy. Prime Minister Modi’s dream that at the grassroots level- panchayat, Block Development Council (BDC) and DDC elections should be held in Jammu and Kashmir has been fulfilled,” he added.

But National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that the PAGD has been formed to ensure the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are restored. “All of us united that the pre-August 5, 2019 position must be restored,” he added. While Farooq Abdullah was chosen as president of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Mehbooba Mufti was picked to play a role of vice-president.

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