SETBACK FOR BJP IN J&K ELECTIONS

The recent District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir results were not on the lines the Bharatiya Janata Party would have liked them to be.

The recent District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir results were not on the lines the Bharatiya Janata Party would have liked them to be. It is buoyed after winning three seats in the Valley and talks of emerging as the single largest party. But that's a good consolation. When it comes to winning the districts, which really matters, the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has left the BJP way behind. It is expected to control nine of the 10 districts in Kashmir. The PAGD is also expected to do well in Jammu provided the Congress comes out in open support of the alliance.

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Behind the facade of BJP's victory smile is, probably, hidden a sense of disappointment over the performance of what Union Home Minister Amit Shah called "the Gupkar Gang".

The BJP tried all tricks in its bag to keep the regional parties like the National Conference, the People's Democratic Party, and the J&K People's Conference out of play by keeping their leaders under house arrest for a long time. Then there were raids by ED and income tax and just before the elections naming senior PAGD leaders as Roshni Act beneficiaries. Nothing stopped the Gupkar Alliance from taking part in the first democratic process in the state after the abrogation of Article 370 denying the BJP a walk-over in the local bodies poll.

The BJP may now try to allure or scare PAGD winners to its fold and claim control over the Valley Is Mehbooba Mufti said, the people have voted for the restoration of J&K's special status.

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