By Hitesh Tikoo
Jammu, Dec 23 (IANS) The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has been restricted to only 110 seats and has failed to cross the halfway mark of 140 during the recent District Development Council elections, whereas the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as the single largest party, winning 75 seats alone.
While dominating the electorate in Kashmir division, PAGD has only managed to grab three seats in Srinagar, with independent candidates winning seven seats, and BJP winning one seat from Srinagar.
BJP’s Aijaz Hussain, who won from Srinagar’s Balhama constituency is Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s national Vice President.
The PAGD’s poor performance in Srinagar is being seen as the people’s disappointment with the older order and their willingness to go with the independent leaders in the valley. Independent candidates emerged victorious in 49 DDC seats, way more than Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party, which only managed to grab 27 seats.
Among the PAGD allies, the National Conference won the highest number of 67 seats, followed by PDP with 27 seats, People’s Conference took 8 seats, CPI(M) won 5 seats and J&K Peoples Movement only 3 seats.
The BJP on the other hand, won 74 seats, including three in the Kashmir division. However, it only managed to get a clear majority in six districts of the Jammu division, including Jammu, Udhampur, Kathua, Doda, Reasi and Samba.
Congress’s Nasir Ahmed Mir, son of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, lost the elections from Anantnag’s Verinag constituency. Mir was defeated by Independent candidate Peer Shahbaz Ahmad.
The Congress party was restricted to only 26 DDC seats.
The DDC elections were the first democratic exercise after the abrogation of Article 370 last year. Besides the DDC election, polling was held for the Panchayat bypolls in 50 vacant Sarpanch seats and 216 vacant Panch seats falling within the DDC constituencies.
The voting was conducted in eight phases and the counting of the ballots started on Tuesday.
By Hitesh Tikoo