Gupkar Alliance Sweeps Valley, BJP Captures Jammu, Independents Now Kingmakers

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PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said that results showed that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had voted for the Gupkar Alliance and rejected the Centre’s “unconstitutional” decision to revoke Article 370

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) swept the local body elections for District Development Councils winning 110 of the 278 seats, according to the results announced on Wednesday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which pumped in money, muscle and manpower managed to win 77 seats–72 in Jammu and three in Kashmir. However, the Congress were down to an abysmal 26. Independent candidates performed better, bagging as many as 49 seats.

In Kashmir, an overwhelming majority of seats went to the Gupkar Alliance consisting of the National Conference (NC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and smaller outfits like the People’s Conference. The alliance managed to win 84 seats in the Valley with a clear majority in 9 of its 10 districts.

In overall party-wise tally, BJP emerged as the single largest party with 75 DDC seats, sweeping the Hindu-dominated districts of the Jammu region. This was followed by NC with 67 seats which not only emerged on top in the Valley but also put up an impressive show in Jammu with 25 seats.

Former Chief Minister and NC leader Omar Abdullah, while commenting on the win of  the alliance led by his father,  said that New Delhi should listen to the voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had shown that they did not accept the changes made in August 2019, the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile J&K state.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Mehbooba Mufti, PDP leader and former Chief Minister, who said results had made it clear that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had voted for the Gupkar Alliance and rejected the Centre’s “unconstitutional” decision to revoke Article 370.

She dedicated the win to the cadre of the parties with a particular mention of Waheed Parra, the youth leader of her party.

Official figures showed that PDP had won 26 seats in Kashmir and only one in Jammu.

The smaller parties with localised cadres like the People’s Conference (PC) of Sajad Lone or Yusuf Tarigami’s Left did well in their respective bastions. In Kupwara, PC won 5 seats while in Baramulla, it bagged 3 seats, including one woman candidate from the Sikh community. Similarly, Tarigami fielded five candidates and all of them won.

The BJP sent leaders from Delhi and made use of resources during its brash campaigning in the Valley. Though it did make an entry by bagging three seats which created headlines, statistically and politically, this may not mean much.

The Apni Party–also referred as Kings Party by the critics due to allegation that it was sprung up after the split in PDP engineered by Delhi–bagged nine seats in Kashmir and another three in the Jammu division.

Now, the next step in the process is choosing one candidate in each district for the chairmanship of the council and the eyes are on the independent winners who are going to be the kingmakers. The parties are making every effort to woo the independents, some of whom are believed to be proxies of the parties fielded due to disagreements on seat sharing.

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