The fact that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD or popularly known as Gupkar Alliance) emerged victorious on majority of the seats in the Kashmir Valley while the BJP performed well in the Jammu region was very much expected.
While all the 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley is dominated by the Muslims, six of the 10 districts in the Jammu region are dominated by the Hindus. The remaining four districts of Rajouri, Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar which border the Kashmir Valley have a sizeable Muslim population.
The results are more or less a mirror of the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Except for these, there are several notable takeaways in the DDC elections.
Out of the 280 seats – 140 each in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region – the BJP emerged as the single-largest party by winning 75 seats. While Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference (NC) won 67 seats, Mehbooba Mufti-headed People’s Democratic Party (PDP) bagged 27 and the Congress 26.
Going by the pre-poll arrangements, the seven-party Gupkar Alliance bagged 112 seats – PDP 27, NC 67, Sajjad Lone-led People’s Conference (PC) 3 and CPI(M) 5 – and was the overall winner.
The decision of the two traditiional rivals PDP and NC to join hands has paid off. Had the Congress also joined them, the alliance would have been a formidable force – much like the Mahagathbandhan experiment of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress combine in the 2015 Bihar assembly elections.
Even now, with the Congress’s support, if it decides to, the Gupkar Alliance’s tally would touch 138 seats.
The independent candidates have emerged victorious on about 50 seats. About 40 independent candidates were supported by the BJP.
Along with the 10-odd independents, Gupkar Alliance may have the support of 148 candidates.
On the other side, BJP’s ally Apni Party has won 12 seats. Together with 40-odd independent candidates and the Apni Party winners, the BJP’s tally may touch a figure of 127. It may still be about 20 nseats less than the Gupkar Alliance-Congress combine.
The BJP has been the biggest gainer while the Congress and the PDP are the biggest losers in the DDC elections. The BJP has made entry in the Kashmir Valley by winning three of the 140 seats. This is a major boost for the BJP.
The BJP also has much to cheer about as far as the votes polled is concerned. It polled 4,87,364 votes against 2,82,514 of NC; 57,789 of NC; and 1,39,382 of the Congress.
The BJP polled more votes not just than the Gupkar Alliance but also the PDP, NC and the Congress put together. The three together clocked 4,79,685 which is 7,679 votes less than those of the BJP.
Before the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections, there were three major players in the state – NC, PDP and the Congress. However, the BJP made an entry in those elections by emerging as the second largest party after the PDP and pushing the Congress behind to the fourth slot.
The Congress fought the DDC elections separately and fielded candidates on 118 seats. However, it could win just 26 seats. The BJP seems to have gained from the Congress’s loss and has filled the vacant space created by the Grand Old Party of India.
The polling percentage during the DDC polls in the terror-infested areas witnessed a considerable increase in comparison to the previous elections. While Ganderbal saw 43.4 per cent voting, Kulgam saw 28.9 per cent and Shopia 17.5 per cent.
Pulwama, which had seen voting of just 1.1 per cent in the 2018 panchayat elections, ticked 7.4 per cent in the DDC polls. Similarly, Sopore, where the voting was 7.6 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, clocked 23.6 per cent now. The same was the case for Bandipora in North Kashmir which saw 51.7 per cent voting in the DDC polls. However, it had polled 44 per cent in the panchayat elections and 23 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Another major takeaway is the BJP’s perfromance in the recent elections. It won the Bihar assembly elections. It gained in a major way in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, Kerala local bodies elections, Rajasthan civic bodies elections, Arunachal Pradesh civic polls, Ladakh Hill Council elections and the Bodoland Territorial Council elections.
The BJP was victorious also in the recent assembly bypolls in several states including Madhya Pradesh where it won 19 of the 28 constituencies which went to polls; Manipur where it won four of the five constituencies which went to polls; Uttar Pradesh where it won eight of the nine seats; and Gujarat where it emerged victorious on all the eight seats.