Mehbobba Mufti’s performance in the recent DDC elections is not very impressive. She and her party members might be quite disappointed with the results. Even though, PDP bagged 27 out of 68 seats it contested which is the second best after National Conference’s 67 among the Gupkar alliance constituent parties. However, Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference contested just 11 seats and won eight of them.
The seat-sharing among constituent parties of the alliance might also hurt prospects of the PDP. NC getting 169 seats to contest, may have also hurt PDP’s performance along with the burden of the past. A PAGD member said that Mehbooba spending 14 months in detention doesn’t seem to counter anti-incumbency effect. Whether her controversial statements since her release on October 13, had any effect on PDP’s performance in elections is being looked into. PDP polled 55,789 votes overall while NC got around 28 lakh votes. Even Congress, which signed 2019 Gupkar Declaration but did not become a part of the alliance, bagged 13 lakh-plus votes.
There could be many reasons behind this “unsuccessful” venture of the PDP in DDC elections including the departure of old leaders and its unsatisfied vote bank. Many of ex-CM’s senior colleagues quit PDP after the party separated its ways with BJP in 2018. Moreover, her detention for more than a year might have caused significant damage to the party organization.
The lack of a strong leadership in PDP at the grassroot level also negatively influenced its poll performance. Mehbooba’s alliance with BJP in 2015 has also kept away a section of voters. Mehbooba’s controversial statements like refusing to raise the tricolour till J&K’s flag is restored has also caused har damage.
Sources said that the thing which surprised them the most was PDP collaborating with former rival NC and Mehbooba being comfortable about the seat-sharing inequity. Ghulam Nabi Hanjura of Charar-e-Sharief was the only senior PDP member to raise his voice till the last moment about the party getting very less seats to contest than NC.
On Wednesday, Mehbooba called the Gupkar alliance’s performance as the people’s verdict against nullification of Article 370 and avoided talking about her party’s underperformance.