Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow
SRINAGAR— District Development Council (DDC) poll results are out and BJP has won 76 seats in Jammu and Kashmir. Party has won most of the seats from six Hindu-majority districts of Jammu. In Muslim-majority Kashmir, they have won three –one each in Srinagar, Bandipora and Pulwama districts.
On the other side, People Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a conglomerate of six major political parties including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference, Awami National Conference, CPIM, and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, won more than 110 seats.
Launched to fight for the restoration of special status and statehood, PAGD was contesting the majority of 280 DDC seats in Jammu and Kashmir. However, all the constituents used their respective party symbols.
What made the contest interesting was PAGD did not launch high pitch campaign like BJP. Neither had they issued any manifesto nor vision document. Neither Farooq Abdullah nor Omar Abdullah or Mehbooba Mufti campaigned in the polls.
However, BJP lined up star campaigners from the Centre. From union textiles minister Smriti Irani to the union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur, from Shahnawaz Husain to Mukhtar Abbaas Naqvi, BJP brought top leaders from Delhi to campaign in Jammu and Kashmir.
For PAGD candidates, Article 370 abrogation was at the heart of its campaign. BJP, on the other side, went all out with below the belt attacks calling PAGD “Gupkar Gang” and “Gumrah Gang”.
When the counting ended, the verdict was clear that PAGD has romped home and BJP has fared poorly. True to their style, BJP went to the town tom-toming about their victory since they emerged as the single largest party. Little did the party tell the people that PAGD fought unitedly and scored big in the polls.
If the single largest party is the mantra then Tejaswi Yadav’s RJD won the majority of seats in Bihar. If BJP’s yardstick is taken into consideration, then Tejaswi should be the winner. Here PAGD had entered into seat adjustment and they won hands down.
“The trends show that people have not accepted the government’s unilateral decision of revoking the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, and downgrading it to a Union Territory. Trends are an important milestone for the PAGD as they endorse our view that revoking of special status was not acceptable to the people,” said Omar Abdullah, former chief minister.
BJP J&K general secretary and in-charge of Kashmir Vibodh Gupta said the party had scripted history by recording three victories in the valley.
“The election results are a foundation of Naya Kashmir and Modi’s vision is winning Kashmir. This victory belongs to the party workers of Kashmir,” he said.
However, the National Conference said the people had given a ‘message’ to New Delhi by voting for the PAGD candidates.
“We were not given a chance to reach out to the people and not given security. We were not allowed to campaign and our polling agents were detained. It was one-sided…BJP provided security and money to their own party only. We only won through God’s grace and support of people….they indulged in brazen violations but the people gave their mandate today. This is the message of people to the leadership in Delhi and government in J&K,” said Salman Sagar, who emerged victorious from the ULB blocks of Soura and Solina.