DDC Polls: BJP takes to single largest party narrative

BJP takes to 'single largest party' narrative after lagging behind PAGD in J&K DDC polls

BJP claims that NC, PDP and other parties formed the Gupkar Alliance as they thought they couldn't take on BJP by themselves

"This is a victory for India, democracy, hope, development and people of Jammu and Kashmir," said Ravi Shankar Prasad and Anurag Thakur. Credit: PTI File Photo

A day after the DDC poll results in Jammu and Kashmir in which the PAGD looks like it is headed for a clear majority, BJP on Wednesday sought to build the 'single largest party' narrative in its favour and claimed that polls showed a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "larger narrative" for the union territory.

The polls, the first big democratic exercise since August 5 last year, when the central government has stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status by revoking Article 370, saw the BJP emerging as the single largest party but lagging behind the united alliance of National Conference, PDP and some other parties.

The BJP, which on Wednesday fielded a number of BJP leaders including Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, to present its view on the Jammu and Kashmir DDC polls results, took comfort in what it called the perennial decline of Congress and cited that even independent candidates won more number of seats than Congress.

Seeking to reject the theory of victory of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which won the maximum seats, Prasad argued that these parties came together under one alliance because they felt they could not fight the BJP alone, which has even now got more votes than Congress, PDP and NC.

"Put together the Independents and BJP have got over 52 per cent votes," argued Anurag Thakur, BJP’s DDC polls in-charge.

Prasad and Thakur asserted that the DDC poll results in Jammu and Kashmir are a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "larger narrative" for the union territory, and "resounding slap" by people on the face of extremists, separatists, terrorists and their patrons.

Flagging that the BJP has won 74 seats against the NC's 67, PDP's 27 and the Congress' 26, Prasad claimed that many of 39 independent winners had his party's support, seeking to give an impression the support for the BJP is more than what the PAGD can muster, which in total won 110 seats.

Both Prasad and Thakur repeatedly talked about the "lotus bloom" in the valley, where the BJP won three seats. In Jammu, BJP won most of the seats while PAGD won in the valley. Congress won a few seats in both.

"This is a victory for India, democracy, hope, development and people of Jammu and Kashmir," Prasad and Thakur said linking the 2018 Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir carried out during Modi government's first tenure, which the BJP said led to the flow of funds directly in Panchayats and resultant developments.

"Development work was ushered in under the central rule in the region, and people in Kashmir have now distinguished between those who rule and those who serve," Prasad said.