DDC polls: PAGD bags 99 seats, BJP emerges as single largest party by winning 77 seats

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Jammu, Dec 22 (PTI) Former BJP minister Shakti Raj Parihar lost the District Development Council (DDC) election from two constituencies in Doda district despite his party emerging as the single largest party in Jammu and Kashmir in the first election after abrogation of the special status and downgrading of the erstwhile state into a Union Territory last year.

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of seven mainstream parties including National Conference and PDP which have come together to seek restoration of the special status, was leading the result tally late Tuesday night by winning 99 seats against 77 won by the BJP.

Independent candidates won 45 seats till the filing of this report.

Congress won 22 seats, J&K Apni party 11, J&K national panthers party two, BSP and PDF one each, according to the results for 251 seats, out of total 280, declared by the J&K election commission.

Parihar lost the election to National Conference rival Asim Hashmi from Gundana segment and Congress opponent from Marmat seat Mushtaq Ahmad, both falling in Doda district, as the day-long counting witnessed a see-saw battle between him and his opponents.

Hashmi defeated Parihar by a margin of 1,336 votes, while Ahmad won by 1,330 against Parihar from Marmat constituency.

The BJP had so far won eight seats from the district, while two more seats were won by Congress and another went to an independent candidate. The result of one seat was awaited.

Former BJP ministers Sham Choudhary was leading by a slender margin of 157 votes against his near rival, independent candidate Taranjit Singh from Suchetgarh constituency of Jammu district. Choudhary polled 12,180 votes against Singh’s 12,023 votes.

Singh expressed gratitude to his voters and said the vote for him was 'against the farm laws imposed by the BJP government on the farmers of the country against their will”.

“BJP went for aggressive campaigning bringing union ministers, chief ministers and national leaders to divert the attention of the voters from the real issues facing the public,” Singh, who was leading the constituency till mid-day, said.

Out of 12 results declared so far from Jammu district, the BJP had bagged 11 while one constituency was won by the National Conference candidate.

Aijaz Ahmad Khan (J&K Apni Party) and Abdul Gani Malik (National Conference), who also tried their luck from different constituencies in Reasi district, managed to sail through after stiff resistance from their rivals.

Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, founded by former BJP minister Lal Singh, failed to open its account in Kathua district where all the 14 seats were won by the saffron party. Singh’s wife and former MLA Kanta Andotra lost to BJP’s Kumari Shaveta by a margin of 1,675 votes from Keerian Gandyal constituency.

People’s Democratic Party candidate Manohar Singh was leading over his nearest rival BJP’s Mohinder Singh in Nowshera constituency of Rajouri district by a margin of 2,873 votes. Nowshera is considered as the bastion of J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina who had won the Assembly segment in the last assembly elections.

Former Congress MLA Choudhary Mohammad Akram was also trailing by 2,675 votes from the party’s rebel candidate Mohammad Shahnawaz (independent) from Surankote-A constituency in Poonch district.

However, the former Congress Minister Mohammad Shabir Khan was leading over the nearest rival National Conference’s Shafayat Khan by a margin of 5,789 votes from Manjakote constituency of Rajouri district.

Another stalwart of the party and former Minister Taj Mohiuddin won from Parenpillan constituency in Baramulla district, defeating his nearest rival Showkat Ahmad Khan (Peoples Conference) by 1,596 votes. PTI TAS SKL RDM RDM