Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir for “such great turnout” in the maiden district development council (DDC) elections. Shah also “heartily thanked” the people for voting his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the single-largest party in the elections.
“I heartily thank our sisters and brothers of J&K for voting BJP as the single largest party in the District Development Council elections. BJP under the leadership of PM @narendramodi ji will continue to work relentlessly towards the prosperity and development of the J&K region,” Shah tweeted on Wednesday. “Congratulations to the people of J&K for such great turnout in DDC polls. I applaud the efforts of our security forces & local administration for successfully conducting these multi-phased elections. This will further boost the morale and trust of people of J&K in democracy,” he added.
“Modi government is doing everything possible to restore the grass root democracy in Jammu & Kashmir. The recently held DDC polls for the first time in the history of J&K is the testimony of the same. The mass participation in these elections reflects people’s faith in democracy,” Shah posted in a subsequent tweet.
As of 4:30 pm on Wednesday, the BJP had won 75 of the 280 DDC seats. The National Conference (NC) was second with 67 seats, followed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at 27 seats. The Congress was victorious on 26 seats. Independent candidates, meanwhile, won on 50 seats. The BJP made inroads in Kashmir for the first time, winning three seats in the region while the majority of its seats were from the Jammu region.
The NC and PDP had contested as members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a collective of six regional parties seeking restoration of Article 370. Together, the PAGD was victorious on 110 seats.
The eight-phase DDC polls, which took place between November 28 and December 19, were the first major electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 last August, which led to the scrapping of the region’s special status. Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh, were further split into two separate Union territories.