National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in conversation with ANI. (Photo/ANI)
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in conversation with ANI. (Photo/ANI)

BJP should admit PAGD has pan J-K presence: Omar Abdullah

ANI | Updated: Dec 24, 2020 00:19 IST

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], December 23 (ANI): With the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) leading in the District Development Council (DDC) elections, National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should admit that they had a pan-Jammu and Kashmir presence.
"I congratulate the BJP for their three seats (in Kashmir) but what about our 35 seats in Jammu? They should admit that we have a pan-J-K presence. The BJP keeps calling us a Kashmir-based party. If we are Kashmir based with 35 seats in Jammu, then they are not even fully Jammu-based," Abdullah said.
He added that the polls, which were the first of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year, were encouraging for both the NC individually and the PAGD, as it was an opportunity for the alliance to test their support among the people.
"This was an opportunity for us to test our support amongst the people as the alliance was born out of a very difficult situation. We ourselves were not sure of exactly how much of what we're saying resonates with the people," he said.
Asserting that the elections were a resounding blow to the BJP, he further said that its claim that everyone in the valley is happy with the removal of Article 370 was tested.
"The BJP used all its might, money and muscle power. They created new parties to attract voters and lured many PDP leaders into them. But none of that succeeded," he said, adding that the NC deliberately chose not to campaign as they felt that it was more important for the agenda to speak than the leaders.
Commenting on the three seats won by the BJP in the Kashmir province, he said, "In at least two of those seats, there was a poor selection of candidates by the alliance, and there was a boycott in South Kashmir, besides the voter turnout was very poor."
The PAGD, led by NC leader and Omar's father Farooq Abdullah, has bagged 112 seats so far in the first-ever elections to the 280 DDCs, while the BJP is emerging as the single-largest party winning 75 seats, even as the counting of votes is underway.
The PAGD comprises of seven parties -- Jammu and Kashmir NC, People's Democratic Party (PDP), Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen Shah's Jammu and Kashmir People Democratic Front (PDF), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Javid Mustafa's Jammu and Kashmir People Movement (JKPM), Sajjad Lone's Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference (JKPC) and Muzaffar Shah's Awami National Conference.
According to the latest tally, NC has won 67 seats, PDP 27, PDF 2, CPI(M) 5, JKPM 3, JKPC 8 in the DDC elections, which were held in eight phases.
Congress has secured 26 seats so far, Altaf Bukhari's Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party registered victory on 12 seats, while Independent candidates have won 50 seats.
Other parties include Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, which have won two seats so far, while BSP secured one seat. (ANI)