The DDC elections in J&K were carried out for the first time after the state of Jammu and Kashmir was demoted to a Union Territory. Check out this space for live updates.
SRINAGAR (J&K) –
The fate of nearly 4,200 candidates for the 280 District Development Council (DDC) seats in Jammu and Kashmir will be made public today, as counting of votes began in the morning for the eight-phased polls held for the first time in the Union Territory.
Officials in the State Election Commission said that a total of 4,181 candidates, including over 450 women, were in the fray for the 280 DDC seats.
The elections to this three-tier of the Panchayati Raj system were held for the first time in Jammu and Kashmir and were the first mass polls after the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in August 2019.
The polling was held in eight phases, beginning November 28 and ending on December 19 as 51 per cent of the 57 lakh eligible voters exercised their franchise in the elections, which were largely peaceful.
Seven Kashmir-centric mainstream political parties, including the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party, contested the polls in an alliance under the banner of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which was formed for the restoration of Article 370.
The Congress was initially a part of the PAGD but distanced itself from the alliance as the BJP targeted the opposition party for being in league with the ‘Gupkar Gang’. Although, the Congress went alone in the last seven phases, it is widely believed that its understanding with the PAGD remains intact.
The PAGD is expected to emerge as the single largest grouping at the hustings, followed by the BJP in a close second position while the Congress is expected to fill the third position.
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