National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah
National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah
File Photo

The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) swept the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls by winning 110 seats, while the BJP emerged as the single largest party by getting 74 seats after securing the largest vote share in Jammu and Kashmir, reported PTI.

The results of four constituencies - one each in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of north Kashmir and Poonch and Rajouri districts in Jammu region - are still awaited.

Out of the 276 seats for which results have been declared by the J&K Election Commission so far, besides PAGD and BJP, Independent candidates have won 49, Congress 26, Apni Party 12, PDF and National Panthers Party two each and BSP one.

The eight-phase DDC polls, which began on November 28, are the first election after Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 was revoked last year and it was reorganised into a Union Territory. In the election, 140 seats each in the Jammu and Kashmir regions went to polls.

The trends in most seats in the DDC elections were in accordance with expectations -- the BJP maintained its strength in the Jammu division while the PAGD, which includes regional heavyweights the National Conference (NC) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP), was ahead in Kashmir, besides Pir Panchal and the Chenab Valley regions of Jammu.

The BJP had something to cheer about in the Kashmir valley as three of its candidates -- Aijaz Hussain, Aijaz Ahmad Khan and Minha Lateef -- won from Khonmoh-II seat in Srinagar, Tulail seat in Bandipora district and Kakpora in Pulwama respectively. This is for the first time the BJP has registered a win in the Valley while facing regional heavyweights like the NC and the PDP.

Highlighting the wins in Kashmir region, BJP general secretary Vibodh Gupta congratulated the victorious party candidates, especially those who had won in Kashmir, and said the people of the Valley have exhibited their faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and NC vice president Omar Abdullah said the results of the DDC elections have made it clear that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have voted for the Gupkar alliance and rejected the Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370.

Abdullah was quick enough to counter the BJP's claims, tweeting, "I understand the temptation to over play the 3 seats the BJP has won in the valley but why underplay the 35 wins/leads of the @JKPAGD in Jammu province. We aren't Kashmir based parties, we are political parties with strong support in both Kashmir AND Jammu."

The PDP President said, "Today's DDC results have made it clear that people of J&K voted en masse for @JKPAGD thus rejecting the unconstitutional decision to abrogate Article 370. They have overwhelmingly supported @JKPAGD which stands for restoration of J&Ks special status".

This is the first election after Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked last year and it was reorganised into a union territory.

A day ahead of counting of votes, authorities had detained several PDP and second-rung NC leaders, including Naeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madni, Peer Mansoor and Hilal Ahmad Lone. No reason was given for the detentions.

The votes were being counted in Jammu and Kashmir regions amid tight security arrangements. There are 140 DDC seats each in Jammu and Kashmir regions. Both regions have 10 districts each, constituting total 20 districts in the UT. Each district comprises 14 seats, resulting in a total of 280 seats.

(Inputs from ANI and PTI)

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