On Tuesday, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) won the District Development Council (DDC) election seat in Nowshera, the home constituency of Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) president Ravinder Raina.
The PDP’s Manohar Singh, who got 10,579 votes, defeated the BJP’s Mohider Singh by a huge margin of 2,904 votes, as per the figures provided by the state election commission (SEC).
Nowshera, a constituency along the hostile border between India and Pakistan, has been Raina’s home, where he was an RSS pracharak, when he started politics with the BJP in 2010. He went on to fight the 2014 assembly elections on the BJP ticket and won from Nowshera. Later, the BJP and PDP had formed an alliance in the state assembly. (Later, in June 2018, the BJP pulled out from the alliance and the state government fell.)
Raina’s politics is deeply rooted in the BJP’s idea of black and white nationalism, often expressed through territorial security and Hindu nationalism.
Speaking with The Kashmir Walla, Surinder Kumar Choudhary, a former Member Legislative Council (MLC) and General Secretary of the PDP said: “We have won the seat in Ravinder Raina’s constituency, people have shown that his agenda of dividing Muslims and Hindus and violence is not going to work. It was an answer to Ravinder Raina that the politics of division that he is playing will not work here.”
In Rajouri, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of unionist parties, won six seats, Congress and the BJP won three each, while Apni Party and an independent candidate won one each. The support of Congress will likely determine the chairman of the council.
In J-K, the Alliance bagged 112 seats in DDC elections, as per the latest figures, while BJP won seventy-four seats as the counting of votes was underway. As per the figures, the Alliance got a comfortable majority in nine councils, all in the Valley; while the BJP took over the entire control of six councils, all in the Valley. Five councils, where none got a clear majority, are up for grabs as the focus moves onto independent candidates.