BJP Supporters dancing in jubilation as Ajaz Hussain of BJP won DDC election from Balahama area in Srinagar on Wednesday. (ANI)
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 75 seats after securing the largest vote share in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday. The results of two constituencies - one each in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of north Kashmir - are still awaited as counting of votes has been deferred there till further orders.
The counting of votes for the 280 DDC constituencies - 14 each in 20 districts - started on Tuesday morning after the peaceful culmination of the eight-phase election from November 28 to December 19. This was the first democratic exercise in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile State into Union Territories last year. Out of the 278 seats for which results have been declared by the J-K Election Commission so far, besides the PAGD and the BJP, Independent candidates have won 50, Congress 26, Apni Party 12, PDF and the National Panthers Party two each and the BSP one.
Two Pakistan-occupied Kashmir nationals (PoK), who are married to former militants, are among the contestants from the Dragmulla constituency in Kupwara and Hajin-A in Bandipora and the State Election Commissioner has directed the returning officers concerned to defer the counting of votes in the two constituencies till further orders, the officials said. Among the PAGD constituents, the National Conference won the highest number of 67 seats, followed by PDP (27), People’s Conference (eight), CPI(M) five and J-K Peoples Movement (three), getting a total share of over 3.94 lakh votes together. The BJP, on the other hand, won 75 seats, including three in Kashmir, after getting a total of 4.87 lakh votes. However, it only managed to get a clear majority in five districts - Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Samba and Doda and enjoys an edge in Reasi district - all in the Jammu region.