Asserting that the DDC poll results in Jammu and Kashmir are a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "larger narrative" for the union territory, the BJP on Wednesday claimed that the verdict is a "resounding slap" by people on the face of extremists, separatists, militants and their patrons.
Law Minister and senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad also rejected the contention that the District Development Council poll results are a win for People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), noting that the BJP has emerged as the single largest party and that it has got more votes than the total votes of the National Conference, the PDP and the Congress put together.
The PAGD is an amalgamation of parties, including the NC and the PDP, which have been fiercely opposed to the Modi government's measures like abrogation of Article 370 and scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood.
Addressing a press conference, Prasad noted that the BJP has won 74 seats against the NC's 67, PDP's 27 and the Congress' 26 and claimed that many of 39 independent winners had his party's support.
The PAGD in total won 110 seats.
While the BJP put up a strong show in the Jammu region, Prasad noted that lotus, a reference to his party's poll symbol, had bloomed in the Valley as well.
The Gupkar alliance was formed because its constituents knew that they could not fight the BJP on their own, he said.
"This is a victory for India, democracy, hope, development and people of Jammu and Kashmir. This is a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's larger narrative for Jammu and Kashmir," Prasad told reporters.
Development work was ushered in under the central rule in the region, and people in Kashmir have now distinguished between those who rule and those who serve, he said.
"People have seen how democracy can bring them development. Their faith in democracy has been strengthened," the union minister said, noting that many militancy hotbeds like Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Sopore in Kashmir saw much more polling in the DDC polls than the Lok Sabha elections.
He said the PAGD also lost from the area of Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen militant whose social media posts and subsequent killing in an encounter in 2016 had gained a lot of publicity.
This is important as Wani's killing was "made an issue of international campaign by these elements" with Pakistan also raising the matter, he said.
Noting that the BJP has won a string of polls across the length and breadth of the country in the last few months, Prasad said the habitual critics of the prime minister should take note of people's faith in him.