The newly formed alliance formed by seven regional parties including arch-rivals, National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won big in the local polls in Kashmir while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made inroads in Jammu.
The Gupkar Alliance, which was formed as a protest against the stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, won nine of 20 districts in Jammu and Kashmir.
While the alliance, led by former Chief Minister from the NC Farooq Abdullah, won more than 100 seats, the BJP appeared as the single largest party with 74 and Congress could win 26.
In Kashmir, the alliance won 72 seats while the BJP bagged only three.
In the Jammu province, the saffron party won 71 seats in six district councils of Jammu, Udhampur, Samba, Kathua Reasi and Doda while the NC and Congress won seats in four district councils of Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar and Ramban districts.
The elections to 280 seats spread across 20 districts with each having 14 seats were held in eight phases over a span of 25 days.
The poll results are considered as a referendum to the BJP-led Centre’s bold move of abrogating Articles 370 and 35A to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status on Aug 5, 2019.
This was the first election since the dissolution of the special status, following which several Kashmiri leaders including Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti were detained.
Even during the polls, the opposition leaders were detained, not allowing them to campaign for the polls.
Reacting to the BJP’s emergence as a single largest party in Jammu, NC leader Omar Abdullah tweeted, “It’s amusing to see the desperation of the BJP propaganda wallas. Yesterday it was about 3 seats in the valley and today it’s about being the single largest party. They aren’t even embarrassed about making comparisons with National Conference which contested far fewer seats due to an alliance.”
Mufti tweeted, “Today’s DDC results have made it clear that people of J&K voted en masse for Gupkar Alliance thus rejecting the unconstitutional decision to abrogate Article 370. They have overwhelmingly supported Gupkar Alliance which stands for restoration of J&Ks special status.”
Reacting to the results, Congress senior leader P Chidambaram tweeted, “Undeterred by the denial of democratic rights, the voters of the Kashmir valley have firmly rejected the BJP and its misguided Kashmir policy. I compliment the voters for their courage and resolve.”
“Even in the Jammu region, a significant number of voters have rejected the divisive and polarising politics of the BJP. Both the Congress and the Gupkar Alliance have stood up to the BJP and may win as many seats as the BJP. That is a good sign.”
“Union Minister Anurag Thakur, who was pitted in Kashmir by the BJP for the campaign, tweeted, “Democracy wins in Jammu & Kashmir! A New Era of Development and Decisive Leadership Dawns! ” (India Blooms)