J&K DDC Polls: With PAGD in overall lead and BJP as 'single largest party', contention breaks out over voter perception of Article 370 abrogation

The counting of votes for the District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday has given a clear lead to the People's Alliance For Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

The trends at 10 PM are as follows:

J&K DDC Polls: With PAGD in overall lead and BJP as 'single largest party', contention breaks out over voter perception of Article 370 abrogation

Of the 280 seats that went to polls for the DDC elections the leads on 258 seats have indicated that the Kashmir-based amalgam of the mainstream parties, the PAGD, has either won or is leading on 107 segments, the BJP leading on 65 segments, the Congress on 22, Apni Party which was launched after the abrogation of Article 370 on 10 and others on 54 segments.

On expected lines, the PAGD has bagged most of the seats from the Kashmir valley while BJP has fared well in its traditional bastion of Jammu.

The BJP has though been successful to break into Kashmir valley by winning three seats.

The saffron party's IT Cell went on a joyous overdrive on this day, claiming that the BJP's emergence as the "single largest party" in the polls is an "endorsement for the abrogation of Article 370" of the Indian Constitution, which revoked the special status accorded to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

"Politics of development wins," wrote Amit Malviya, the national in-charge of BJP's IT Cell.

Meanwhile, in a direct contradiction to the BJP's claims, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday 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 "unconstitutional" decision to abrogate Article 370.

Taking to Twitter, Mehbooba said the cadre of the People's Alliance for Gupkar declaration (PAGD) -- an amalgam of several mainstream political parties seeking the restoration of the special status of J-K -- worked tirelessly to ensure the success, even as the Centre "left no stone unturned to create hurdles..."

She said the PAGD emerged as a winner despite all the obstacles.

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 newly created DDCs went to polls in eight phases from November 28 to December 22 in eight phases.

The 280 DDC seats, 14 each in 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir, were created after the Centre amended the J&K Panchayati Raj Act of 1989 in October this year.

The PAGD was floated on October 7 for the reversal of constitutional changes made to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year.

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