J&K DDC polls: BJP emerges as single largest party

J&K DDC polls: Out of 20 districts, PAGD sweeps six, BJP gets five

Abdullah-led alliance wins 110 seats, BJP emerges single largest party with 75 seats

Peer Bilal, an independent candidate for the DDC polls celebrates his win in Srinagar on December 22. Credit: PTI

The Farooq Abdullah-led People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) won big in the maiden DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir by winning 110 seats and having a clear majority in six districts and an edge in six others, while the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 75 seats and having a clear majority in five districts.

The Congress party won 27 seats, while newly formed J&K Apni Party (JKAP), believed to be proxy of the BJP, emerged winners in 12 seats in the district development council (DDC) polls, which mark the Centre’s first attempt at restoring democratic processes in the region, following the revocation of its special status and bifurcation in August 2019.

Independents grabbed major attention during these elections winning 18 per cent of the total seats, registering win on 50 seats. Barring five of 20 districts, Independents won the day in all other districts. Among PAGD constituents, National Conference (NC) won 67 seats, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) 27, Peoples Conference eight, CPI-M five and Peoples Movement three.

Read | DDC polls: BJP wins seat in Kashmir for first time

The PAGD is an alliance of arch rivals and regional heavyweights – NC and PDP - besides five other parties. It was formed on October 15 to work towards restoring the special status of J&K which was revoked last August.

When the polls were announced abruptly in early November, the PAGD announced it would field joint candidates and even issued a list of “unanimous” choices for the first five rounds of voting. However, the unity proved short-lived because of the tussle over seat-sharing.

Voting was held in all 280 seats - 14 in each of the 20 districts of the Union Territory from November 28 to December 19 in eight phases. Results have been declared for all but two seats. Among the political parties, the BJP got highest 24.82 per cent votes, followed by the NC with 16.46 per cent, Congress 13.82 per cent, PDP 3.96 per cent, Apni Party 5.3 per cent, Peoples Conference 1.98 per cent vote share, while rest of the vote share went to others including independent candidates.

Also Read | Won’t bow before anyone except Allah, says Farooq Abdullah after victory in DDC polls

Overall 28,55,509 votes were counted in total in the 278 DDC constituencies, the state election commissioner said in a presser.

In Kashmir valley, Abdullah-led PAGD won 72 seats, while the BJP candidates emerged winners in three seats. The alliance has a clear majority in six out of 10 district councils in the valley, while it has a clear edge in three other districts. Srinagar district remains undecided as several independents have won and it is unclear which way they will go.

In Jammu province, the BJP won 72 seats and has a clear majority to have its chairmen in five districts while it had an edge in one district. Independent candidates hold sway in one of the districts, while in other three districts in Jammu region, the PAGD and the Congress have clear majority to have its council chairmen, if they come together.

The PAGD leaders, including Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have said that the verdict in the polls shows it clearly that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have rejected the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 in August last year.

The Alliance leaders claimed that they had fought against several odds as its leaders barely campaigned for the polls. They alleged that their candidates were not allowed to campaign and were confined in security enclosures.

However, the BJP said its emergence as the single largest party in the polls has proved that the people of J&K have shown their preference for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “larger narrative”.

None of the individual parties in the PGD have been able to compete with the BJP, and this was the reason behind the tie-up,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a presser in New Delhi.

He said the BJP got over 4.5 lakh votes, which is more than the NC, PDP and Congress combined.

Total seats = 280/ : Results announced 278

14 seats each in 20 districts of J&K
140 seats in 10 districts of Jammu
140 seats in 10 districts of Kashmir

BJP wins: 75, National Conference: 67, Independents: 50, PDP: 27, Congress: 26, Apni Party: 12, People's Conference: 8, CPM: 5, People's Movement: 3, JKNPP: 2, PDF: 2, BSP: 1

19 candidates saw an extremely close contest where the margin of victory was less than 100 votes.

PAGD (NC, PDP, CPM, PC, PM) has a clear majority in 6 districts and edge in six others.

BJP clear majority in five districts and edge in one. In two districts independents won majority seats.

BJP got highest 24.82% votes, with over 4.5 lakh votes followed by NC at 16.46%, Congress 13.82%, PDP 3.96%, Apni Party 5.3%

Over 35% vote share went to others including independent candidates.

Overall 28,55,509 votes were counted in total in the 278 DDC constituencies