Reyaz Rashid

Budgam, Kupwara DDCs elect chairpersons, vice-chairpersons

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Elections for chairperson, vice-chairperson of DDC Baramulla DDC deferred

Baramulla/Srinagar: The second phase of elections to the posts of chairpersons for District Development Councils (DDC) in Budgam and Kupwara districts was held on Monday, while as the polls in Baramulla district were postponed, officials said.

In Budgam district of central Kashmir, Nazir Ahmad Khan–an independent DDC member–was elected as the chairperson, while Nazir Ahmad Jahara of National Conference (NC) was elected as vice-chairperson of DDC, officials said.

Earlier there was a tie between Nazir Ahmad Khan and Abdul Ahad Dar, for the post of Chairman with each securing 7 votes. A draw of lots was held in which Nazir Ahmad Khan was declared as successful, thus elected as Chairman DDC Budgam.

Khan was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but decided to contest the DDC polls which were held in December last year as an independent candidate.

His decision came after the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) seeking the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, fielded an NC candidate from the seat in Beerwah area which he wanted to contest.

The officials said in Kupwara district in north Kashmir, the Peoples Conference (PC) led by Sajad Gani Lone secured the post of the chairperson, while the party-backed independent candidate won the vice-chairperson’s post.

The party’s DDC member Irfan Panditpuri was elected as the chairperson, while Farooq Ahmad was elected the vice-chairperson, they said.

Later, the District Election Officer Kupwara administered oath to the newly elected chairperson and vice-chairperson.

The elections for the post of chairperson and vice-chairperson for Baramulla DDC council were postponed due to lack of quorum, officials said.

Election authorities in Baramulla were forced to defer the elections as some DDC members abstained from voting, alleging that the election was being managed through horse-trading.

Senior Congress leader and DDC member from Uri Taj Mohi-ud-din told ‘Kashmir Images’ that there were apprehensions of horse-trading which “proved true as one of the independent candidates was forced to support Safeena Beigh backed by Apni Party and People’s Conference”.

“We abstain from voting to send the message loud and clear that we are one and are against any horse-trading,” said Taj-Mohi-ud-din.

Sources said all seven members assembled in Baramulla at some location where they decided against going to the Dak Bunglow for voting.

They further said only seven members including Safeena Beigh, and those of People’s Conference, Apni Party and an independent member had turned up at the Dak Bunglow.

Later, District Election Officer Baramulla Mohammad Aijaz Asad, issued notice to defer the DDC elections.

The notice reads that the meeting regarding election for DDC chairperson and vice-chairperson in Baramulla that was scheduled on Monday has been adjourned due to lack of prescribed quorum.

According to District Election Officer Baramulla, out of 14 DDC members only seven members were present during the stipulated period for establishing quorum.

Further DEO has issued a fresh notification in accordance with the sub-rule (6) of 108-ZN of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Raj Rules, 1996 wherein the said election for the office bearers shall now be conducted on 13th of February, 2021 at the Dak Bungalow at 11:00 am.

Meanwhile, in light of extant Rules in place, DEO has also cautioned that action, under rules, shall be initiated against any DDC member who remains absent from the meeting scheduled on above mentioned date.

Pertinent to mention that Rules in this regard empower the DEO to initiate action against those members who fail to attend subsequent meetings.

In the first phase of the polls to the posts of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons for three districts on Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party won from Srinagar and Shopian, while the CPI(M), which is part of the PAGD, won from Kulgam.

Meanwhile, BJP members were elected to the posts of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons in Udhampur and Doda districts of Jammu region on Monday.

In Udhampur, Lal Chand was declared elected unopposed for the post of chairperson and Juhi Manhas to the post of vice-chairperson, officials said.

In Doda district, BJP’s Dhananter Singh Kotwal was elected to the post of DDC chairperson, while Sangeeta Rani Bhagat was elected as vice-chairperson of the district council, the officials said.

In the first phase, BJP members were elected to the post of chairperson and vice-chairperson in Jammu and Kathua districts.

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