The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of seven political parties, was ahead in 73 seats and the BJP in 50 as votes for elections to District Development Councils in Jammu and Kashmir were counted on Tuesday, officials said.
The Congress was trailing in number three position with leads in 21 seats in the trends available for 193 of the 280 seats for which voting was held over eight phases, officials said quoting the State Election Commission.
The trends in most seats in the maiden DDC elections are in accordance with expectations the BJP strengthening its position in Jammu division while the PAGD, which includes regional heavyweights National Conference and People’s Democratic Party, is ahead in the Valley.
The BJP has made gains in Bandipora’s Gurez area with leads in two seats. PDP leader Waheed Para, under arrest for his alleged links with militants, was leading in his Pulwama constituency by a huge margin.
This is the first election after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was revoked last year and it was reorganised into a union territory.
A day ahead of the counting, authorities detained several PDP and second rung NC leaders, including Naeem Akhtar, Sartaj Madni, Peer Mansoor and Hilal Ahmad Lone. No reason was given for the detentions.
The votes were being counted in Jammu and Kashmir regions amid tight security arrangements.
There are 140 DDC seats in Jammu, 14 in each district across the region that recorded heavy turnout of voters in the just concluded polls.
Trends available for 95 DDC seats till noon showed the BJP leading in 51 constituencies followed by the National Conference, one of the seven constituents of the PAGD, officials in Jammu said.
Independent candidates were leading on 11 seats, Congress on 10, J&K Apni Party on two and National Panthers Party (NPP) and Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party (DSSP) on one each, they said.PTI