Jammu: The District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday threw up a predictable verdict -- a clear decisive lead for the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.
The PAGD – a Kashmir-based amalgam of mainstream parties – was floated on October 7; incidentally, the DDC elections were held in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time after the revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state.
The representational character of the PAGD is apparent from the fact that National Conference President Farooq Abdullah is its president and PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti its vice president.
But despite the concerted attempt to thwart it, the BJP has fared well in its traditional bastion of Jammu. More important, it was able to breach the Kashmir valley by winning three seats – Srinagar, a segment in the Bandipora district and Kakpora in Pulwama.
Also significant was the victory of PAGD candidate and PDP leader Waheed Parra from Pulwama 1 constituency; he defeated his nearest rival Sajad Ahmad Raina of the BJP. Parra was arrested by the NIA on November 25 in connection with ex-Deputy Superintendent of J&K Police Davinder Singh case for supporting Hizbul Mujahideen activities.
Omar Abdullah termed the results and emerging trends as an eye-opener for the BJP and its "proxy political party", and said people have rejected the decision to revoke the erstwhile state's special status.
Of the 280 seats that went to polls, the leads indicated that the PAGD has either won or is leading in 107 segments; the BJP in 65; and the Congress in 22.
More than a fight for local issues, the DDC election turned into a direct contest between the BJP and its allies and the PAGD.