Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday hailed the district development council elections, the first set of polls in the newly formed union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, as a victory of hope, democracy and the prime minister’s vision for J&K.
BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, won 75 seats in the polls. Prasad asserted that the Gupkar alliance, a coalition of opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir, was only formed cause the parties could never have fought the BJP single-handedly.
“People are calling this a victory of the Gupkar alliance but if you see the numbers, BJP has garnered more votes than NC, PDP and Congress combined,” Prasad said. “BJP has 4,87,364 votes, while NC got 2,82,514, PDP got 57,789 and Congress got 1,39,382 votes.”
Prasad also added that the voting percentage in areas such Shopian, Bandipura and Pulwama has increased since the 2019 Lok Sabha election, dismissing that the people were unhappy with the union government’s decision to strip J&K’s special status.
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“The people of Kashmir have delivered a resounding slap to extremists, terrorists and their patrons,” Prasad said. “The defeat of Gupkar Alliance from the area of Burhan Wani is important for additional reasons. The so-called killing of Burhan Wani was made an issue of international campaign by thAlliance’snts. Today the Gupkar Aliance’s defeat from that area shows the change of wave in J&K,” he added.
Prasad also said that the people of Kashmir have seen development after years, restoring their faith in democracy. “The people have rejected those who rule and instead chosen those who work,” Prasad said.
The Union minister also hailed the victory of 52 independent candidates, of which he said many are supporters of the BJP. “Democracy is turning its pages in Jammu and Kashmir. Instead of throwing stones, people are now exercising their franchise using ballot papers,” he said.
“People make a habit of disparaging the prime minister and questioning his popularity,” Prasad said. “But from Ladakh to Telangana, Rajasthan to Assam and Bihar, people have elected Narendra Modi as their leader.”