DDC Polls: Gupkar Alliance Sweeps Kashmir; BJP Wins Big in Jammu

The Gupkar alliance was the clear winner in the Valley, while the BJP maintained its dominance in the Jammu region.

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Politics
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The Gupkar alliance was the clear winner in the Valley, while the BJP maintained its dominance in the Jammu region in the DDC polls.
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The Jammu and Kashmir Election commission on Wednesday, 23 December, declared the results for the District Development Council (DDC) elections in the Union territory, registering the dominance of the BJP with victory in 75 seats.

The final tally of all the parties, as declared by Commissioner KK Sharma is as following:

DDC Polls: Gupkar Alliance Sweeps Kashmir; BJP Wins Big in Jammu
Graphic: The Quint
Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference (NC) bagged 67 seats, emerging as the best performer in the Gupkar alliance. While independent candidates secured 50 seats, former CM Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP secured 27 seats. Meanwhile, the Congress and Apni Party secured 26 and 12 seats, respectively.

The Gupkar alliance, of which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also a part, was the clear winner in the Valley, while the BJP maintained its dominance in the Jammu region as expected.

NC, PDP React to Gupkar Win

NC leader Omar Abdullah told ANI, “This election has proved that no matter what you do against the National Conference, you can't put an end to its existence. Only Almighty or public has that power. Spread lies and propaganda but truth will come out someday.

He stated that ‘with this defeat’, he did not think that the BJP government would conduct Assembly elections in J&K anytime soon.

“They would have announced the polls by now had they believed in democracy. So, we have time to strengthen our party.”
Omar Abdullah to ANI

Addressing his party’s performance in Jammu, the former J&K Chief Minister said, “We must also accept that there are some weaknesses in our organisation in some areas. We were expecting to win the election at some seats but could not.”

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti stated that the victory was a hard earned one.

Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram stated that the results showed: “Even in the Jammu region, a significant number of voters have rejected the divisive and polarising politics of the BJP. Both the Congress and the Gupkar Alliance have stood up to the BJP and may win as many seats as the BJP.”

BJP: ‘Victory of Democracy’

BJP in-charge for the J&K DDC polls, Anurag Thakur, hit out at the Gupkar alliance stating, “The combined vote share of the Independent candidates and the BJP amounts to a little over 52 percent. This is a clear indication that the Gupkar Gang has lost its credibility and the trust of the people,” reported ANI.

Reminding that the BJP won three seats in the Valley, Thakur added, “The trust which the J&K people have put in Modiji, the support which they've shown to his policies, and to his work to strengthen the democratic principles, are the reasons why BJP has got 3 seats in the Kashmir Valley.”

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the DDC polls could be surmised as a ‘victory of democracy’.

“The District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir can be surmised as a victory of democracy and a victory for the locals. It’s also a victory of the vision which PM Modi had envisioned for the state.”
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister

BJP leader Ram Madhav told ANI that the poll result is a victory of the policies of the Centre.

“The DDC election result is a victory of the policies of the Government of India, and of the Jammu & Kashmir administration in successfully conducting the polls. The greatest win is for the locals who have endorsed the country’s democratic system.”
BJP leader Ram Madhav to ANI

How Parties Fared in Srinagar

Out of the 14 DDC seats in Srinagar, Independents have won seven seats, Apni Party has emerged victorious in three seats, and one seat each has been won by BJP, PDP, National Conference, and Jammu & Kashmir People's Movement, Srinagar District Election Officer Shahid Choudhary said.

National Conference candidate Kaiser Mir and Independent Shabir Aad Reshi have reportedly won from Khimber and Hawan constituencies in Srinagar, respectively, reported news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Azaz Hussain, the BJP candidate from Balhama, Srinagar, has also won from his seat.

Jailed PDP youth president Waheed Para, who is in the custody of the NIA for alleged links with militants, won the DDC elections from Pulwama district, reported PTI.

Jammu Deputy Commissioner Sushma Chauhan had said that restrictive and prohibitory measures have been put in place, with no victory processions by political parties and independent candidates to be allowed without permission.

With 2,178 candidates in the fray, the overall voting percentage in all the eight phases across the Union Territory was 51.42 percent.

The first phase of voting took place on 28 November and ended with phase eight on 19 December. This is the first electoral exercise in the region after J&K’s special status under Article 370 was withdrawn in August 2019 and the state was divided into two Union Territories.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI, IANS and NDTV.)

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