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Apni Party pockets Srinagar, Shopian; PAGD wins Kulgam, BJP Kathua

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Election to DDC chair, vice-chairpersons

Srinagar, Feb 06: The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) won the elections to the post of chairperson of two of the three District Development Councils (DDCs) in polls held Saturday, officials said.

The elections to the posts of chairmen and vice-chairmen were held in three districts of the Valley — Srinagar, Shopian and Kulgam — in the first phase on Saturday.

The JKAP would be heading the DDCs in Srinagar and Shopian, while the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) – the amalgam of six mainstream political parties – won Kulgam.

In Srinagar, JKAP candidate Aftab Malik bagged 10 votes, while his rival bagged only three votes, the officials said.

They said the JKAP’s Bilal Ahmad managed to win the vice-chairperson’s post by securing nine votes while his PDP rival Manzoor Ahmad Bhat bagged only four.

The BJP’s lone DDC member from Srinagar, Ajaz Hussain, also supported JKAP candidates for both the posts, they said.

DEO Srinagar said that 13 out of the total 14 elected DDC members participated in the meeting. He said the elected member from Harwan-IV constituency could not take part in the meeting due to a health condition.

Kaiser Ahmad Ganai with 3 votes and Manzoor Ahmad Bhat with 4 votes were the runners-up in the chairperson and vice chairperson elections respectively.

In Shopian district of south Kashmir also, the Apni Party won both the chairman’s and vice-chairman’s posts.

The officials said JKAP candidate Bilqees Akhtar polled eight votes, while her rival candidate from the PAGD secured six.

They said the vice-chairman post was decided through a draw of lots as there was a tie and it was also won by the JKAP’s Irfan Manhas.

JKAP chief Mohammad Altaf Bukhari congratulated the winning candidates and exuded confidence they would work for the people.

“We are a new party and our politics is based on honesty. I thank the people for showing faith in us,” he told reporters here.

While the PAGD did not win in the two districts, it had a reason to cheer in Kulgam, also in south Kashmir, where the CPI(M) candidate Mohammad Afzal was elected the chairperson and National Conference’s Shazia Jan as vice-chairperson.

“Congratulations to Comrade M Afzal of our party CPIM for being elected as DDC chairman of district Kulgam and Shazia Jan of NC as vice chairman. We thank and appreciate the cooperation of all the elected DDC members of Kulgam for consensus and unanimity,” CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said.

Meanwhile in Jammu region, the election to elect the chairperson and vice-chairperson for DDC Kathua was today held, following which Mahan Singh, the elected member from 03- Basohli constituency   was declared elected unopposed for the post of Chairperson and Raghunandan Singh, elected member from 07- Kathua constituency was declared  elected unopposed  for the post of Vice-Chairperson. .

Later, Deputy Commissioner Kathua also administered oath of office to the newly elected Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson in a brief ceremony.

NC raises issues of defections with CEC J&K

Seeks disqualification of DDC members who have switched party affiliations post DDC elections

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday raised the issue of defections of elected DDC members with the CEC J&K KK Sharma impressing upon him to examine the issues as it violates the people’s mandate and spirit of democracy.

Party’s Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani and MP Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi brought the issue of defections of elected DDC members of Shopian to the notice of Chief Election Commissioner KK Sharma urging him to disqualify such DDC members who have changed their party affiliation after being elected to DDC council from a particular party ticket, manifesto and symbol. They said if the issue wasn’t combated, it is likely to undermine the very foundations of democracy.

While expressing their remonstration against the defections the leaders said the elections were held on party basis and that people voted candidates to power because of a particular election manifesto and symbol. They said such defections undermined the spirit of democracy and violated the people’s mandate so such DDC members who have changed the party affiliations post elections should  be  disqualified and until proceedings in that direction were initiated  such DDC members should be debarred from voting.  The State election commissioner assured them that he would examine the matter.

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