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DDC elections will kickstart the democratic process in J&K

Last Updated on December 24, 2020 at 3:41 pm

The politics being played during elections to the District Development Councils (DDCs) – the ‘Gupkar Gang’ jibe of Amit Shah, Roshni Act proceedings and arrest of PDP’s youth wing President Waheed Para — was in line with the democratic process, at least that has been happening in the nation. BJP won six of the 10 DDCs in Jammu region but the Gupkar Alliance’s victory of nine out of 10 DDCs in the Kashmir Division is the key takeaway.

The most significant thing, even more, important than the outcome, is the normalisation of democratic process in the Union Territory, and especially in the Valley. The democratic process has started in the recently formed Union Territory which was on hold since August 5 last year when the erstwhile state was split and its special status was cancelled. Now, Kashmiris will have political representatives to whom people can go with their problems and institutions which they can rely on.

These results have a message that the there is a division between Jammu and the Kashmir regions even if Lt Governor Manoj Sinha refers to them as the “two eyes” of the Union Territory. Jammu has largely voted on religious preference. Hindu regions have voted largely for the saffron party.

Moderate views of National Conference have appealed to voters beyond the Valley. NC has emerged the single-largest party in three DDCs in Jammu – Rajouri, Ramban and Kishtwar. If a post-poll alliance takes place between NC and Congress, then both the parties can gain a majority in all these three. In Poonch seat, the NC, PDP and Congress add up to make the half-way mark.

The Gupkar Alliance of regional parties in the Union Territory has opened up new possibilities for these parties and presented the BJP with a unique challenge of united Opposition. This united opposition has 13 out of 20 DDC seats. This might inspire other national parties fighting the BJP’s rise in states as well as the Centre.

Independent candidates also played an important role in the outcomes. Independents won nine out of 14 seats in Srinagar.

These DDC elections enabled BJP to open its account in the Valley. BJP has won seats in South Kashmir (Pulwama), North Kashmir (Bandipore) and Central Kashmir (Srinagar). These seats bring the party closer to the Valley’s people.