Peoples Democratic Party Youth President Waheed Parra on Tuesday won the Pulwama-1 seat in Jammu and Kashmir’s District Development Council elections. Parra, who is currently in jail in connection with a terror case, won his debut election “by a huge margin of votes”.
Parra secured 1,323 votes, while his nearest rival, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sajad Raina got 321. The constituency has 14 villages and over 25,000 voters, but only 1,950 votes were cast, according to Kashmir Life. Apart from Parra and Raina, there were five more candidates – Apni Party’s Ghulam Hassan Mir and four independents – in the fray.
PDP chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti congratulated Parra and said she hoped that justice prevails. “Despite being arrested on baseless charges right after his nomination, people have shown their love and trust to Waheed,” Mufti tweeted.
The Farooq Abdullah-led People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration took a considerable lead over the BJP as votes were counted for the District Development Council elections. In afternoon trends, the People’s Alliance, a coalition of regional parties, including the National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti’s People’s Democratic Party, was ahead in 81 seats, while the BJP was leading in 47 seats. The Congress, on the other hand, could establish a lead in only 21 seats.
Parra was remanded to National Investigation Agency custody on November 27, two days after he was arrested in an alleged terror case related to suspended Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police Davinder Singh. He is currently under judicial custody in Jammu’s Amphalla jail.
Mufti had criticised the BJP and defended Parra after his arrest. “BJP milks illegal scrapping of Article 370 in every nook and corner of the country,” she had tweeted. “But when it comes to Kashmiris questioning its abrogation they are locked up and punished. Everyone knows at whose behest Devinder Singh worked for. Ironic that they have the gall to blame others.”
Mufti said her aide was being falsely charged to just intimidate all the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir. She also shared a video of the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh applauding Parra for strengthening democracy in the Union Territory. “No coincidence that he filed his nomination for DDC [District Development Council elections] on 20th November and received NIA summons next day itself,” she had said.