As the election results of Jammu and Kashmir indicate, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is leading not only in Kashmir but showing significant gains in Jammu, former chief minister Omar Abdullah described the results as a resounding endorsement of their stand.
“Our stand on Article 370 and other issues has got a resounding endorsement. We as an alliance fought this election on that,” former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told Outlook.
Out of 20 districts in J&K, the Gupkar Alliance and Congress are winning in the 13 district councils, while the BJP is winning in five districts.
Of the 280 seats, the People's Alliance is leading in 114 and has won 75 seats. The BJP has won 48 seats and the Congress is leading in 23 seats.
“The results are encouraging for the alliance as a whole. If you see the circumstances under which this alliance was formed and the all adversity we had to face, whether it was with regard to detentions, whether it was with regard to how our candidates are locked up and denied opportunity to campaign, the way in which arrests were carried out and other actions by the central investigative agencies all timed with this election, then of course the might of the BJP and the Union government with Union ministers coming and campaigning against us, in spite of that the results we have got is something is encouraging and we are deeply humbled by,” Omar said.
“We are extremely grateful to the people of J&K for this vote of confidence,” he added.
Asked about BJP’s excitement over three seats in Kashmir, he said why they don’t talk about our seats in Jammu then? “Because they always said you are a Kashmir-based party. They described our alliance as Kashmiri alliance. So why don’t they talk about our seats in Jammu then? If their three seats in Kashmir matter, what about National Conference seats in Jammu? Let me talk as vice-president of the J&K National Conference. Let them talk about our seats in Reasi, our seats in Doda, our seats in Nagrota and elsewhere in Jammu,” he added. “We have won many more seats in Jammu than they have won in Kashmir. It debunks their claim that we are a Kashmir-based party. We are a Jammu and Kashmir party. The BJP is a party of Jammu plains. If their three seats in Kashmir is a win, then ours is a landslide and tsunami,” he said.
“Our stand on Article 370 and other issues has got a resounding endorsement. We as an alliance fought this election on that. I think it is important to know we fought the election without campaigning on the issues. We allowed the people to decide whether we were on the right track or not. There were no high-pitched campaigns, there were no advertisements, there were no campaign rallies. We simply allowed the voters of Jammu and Kashmir to decide for themselves whether we were on the right track or not and the people have given their verdict,” Omar added.
Asked why this local body’s election has got so much hype, he said, “We started this process simply fighting it as local body election to establish People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.” “It is the BJP that hyped this election just as more than the DDC poll. They sent Union ministers, central leaders and pumped money and material into this election. They are the ones who hyped this election not us,” he added. He said the BJP had anticipated that the mainstream parties, including National Conference will contest the polls.