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BJP Wins Seats in Kashmir for 1st Time; PAGD, Cong Believe DDC Polls Verdict on Centre's Art 370 Move

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah with his son Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti at a meeting in Srinagar. (PTI)

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah with his son Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti at a meeting in Srinagar. (PTI)

The BJP on Tuesday won an election for the first time from any seat in Kashmir while facing regional heavyweights like the National Conference and the PDP. Aijaz Hussain won the Khonmoh-II District Development Council seat in Srinagar, while Aijaz Ahmad Khan gave the party more reason to cheer by winning the Tulail seat in Bandipora district.

The members of the Gupkar alliance on Tuesday welcomed the results of the DDC elections, stating that it's a verdict on the Centre's unconstitutional decision to abrogate Article 370. The Congress complimented the voters for their courage and resolve to "firmly reject the BJP and its misguided Kashmir policy".

"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," the PDP president tweeted. She said the PAGD emerged as a winner despite all the obstacles.

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.

Beginning with @parawahid's arrest a day after he filed his DDC nominations, restricting our movement & not allowing us to campaign. I was illegally detained thrice over the course of a fortnight. PAGD candidates were locked up in a government building while others barred from canvassing. Despite all these obstacles PAGD emerged as winner. This has been a hard earned victory for all us, she said.

Mehbooba also thanked PDP workers and said they worked hard even after the Centre engineered" a split in her party. Even after a split in PDP engineered by GOI & all the attempts to write us off, my cadre worked day & night to ensure party's victory. I am extremely grateful to them, she tweeted.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said people from Jammu as well as Kashmir have extended complete support to the Gupkar alliance and endorsed its plan seeking restoration of J-K's special status by giving a befitting reply to the BJP in the DDC polls.

The results and emerging trends of DDC polls should act as an "eye-opener" for the BJP and "its proxy political party", Abdullah said in an apparent reference to the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party.

The trends show that the people have not accepted the government's unilateral decision of revoking the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, and downgrading it to a Union Territory, the NC leader said. Abdullah, who is a former chief minister, told PTI.

Congress veteran 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."

Their comments have come as the seven-party Gupkar alliance led by Farooq Abdullah was ahead in the seat tally in the maiden District Development Council polls in Jammu and Kashmir by winning or leading in 112 seats out of 280, followed by the BJP which had won 52 seats, including three in the Kashmir valley for the first time, and was frontrunner in 18. The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has bagged 82 seats and is leading in 30.

Thirty-eight Independents, mainly disgruntled leaders from all political parties, have been declared winners and the same number are leading in other seats. The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) put up a dismal performance by bagging seven seats and leading in another five. The Congress has so far won 19 seats and is leading in nine other council seats.

Meanwhile, jammu and Kashmir BJP general secretary Vibodh Gupta said the people of the Valley have exhibited their faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP on Tuesday won an election for the first time from any seat in Kashmir while facing regional heavyweights like the National Conference and the PDP. Aijaz Hussain won the Khonmoh-II District Development Council seat in Srinagar, while Aijaz Ahmad Khan gave the party more reason to cheer by winning the Tulail seat in Bandipora district.

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