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Kashmir’s Political Alliance Scores Victory in Local Elections

Kashmir used the elections to send a political message to the Modi government: Autonomy must be restored. Will New Delhi heed that message?

The First District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) have gone along as expected. India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was predicted to do well in its traditional stronghold in the Jammu region, and the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a platform of seven Kashmiri parties, was expected to dominate the Kashmir Valley. The BJP and the PAGD defeated in their strongholds as predicted. Overall, it was the PAGD that won the elections. The alliance secured the most number of seats – 110 of the 280 seats that were up for grabs in J&K. It will run 13 of the 20 district councils. The BJP has claimed victory in the elections too. Party leaders have pointed out that with 75 seats, it emerged as the largest single party in the polls. It also won the largest share of votes across J&K.

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