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DDC Elections: Kashmir advance is a shot in the arm for BJP | India News


NEW DELHI: While BJP holds the lead in the Jammu region in District Development Council (DDC) polls at J&K, the party’s performance was not the sweep it might have expected, indicating a shift at the base even as a small advance in the Valley was a source of satisfaction.
The Peoples Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) dominated the Valley, but the BJP sees the victory of independents in significant numbers as an indication of broader participation and the emergence of new leaders.
Seven main Kashmir-centric political parties, including the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party, contested the polls in an alliance under the banner of the PAGD. One of the Valley winners, Aijaz Hussain, who beat Balhama in Srinagar, is the national vice president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.

Sources said the rejection of party politics in most seats in Srinagar, with independents winning eight out of 14, pointed to disenchantment with older established players who were insisting on the restoration of Article 370.
This also showed that actions against leading politicians for their alleged involvement in various scams, whether related to land or J&K Bank, had an impact on the electorate, the sources added.
PDP’s eroding support in southern Kashmir was a message to Mehbooba Mufti and his hardliner where he said he would not fly the Indian flag until he was allowed to fly the J&K flag as well. Defections may have weakened her as well.
Although North Carolina veteran Farooq Abdullah also took a hard line against the system when speaking of China in the Article 370 contest, the party got it right as it has compromised cadres on the ground.

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