Jammu and Kashmir is voting in the first phase of the District Development Council polls today, the maiden elections since being reorganised as a Union Territory. Close to 1,500 candidates are in fray in the first of the eight phases. There are 280 DDC seats in the Union Territory, 140 each in the Jammu and Kashmir regions. The election is being viewed as a triangular contest between the Gupkar Alliance, the BJP, and the Apni Party floated by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari. The Gupkar Alliance is an amalgamation of several mainstream parties, including the National Conference and the PDP, seeking restoration of J&K special status.