PAGD wrests DDC chairperson posts in two Jammu districts
Jammu: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Thursday won the posts of District Development Council (DDC) chairpersons in Ramban and Kishtwar districts of the Jammu division, officials said.
Both the districts were reserved for women and the PAGD, an alliance of various mainstream parties including the National Conference, the Peoples Democratic Party and the CPI(M), easily secured the two posts.
The NC, which had emerged as the single largest party in the DDC elections in Ramban district by winning six of the total 14 seats, received a shot in the arm ahead of the rescheduled election when three independent candidates joined the party on Wednesday.
The election, which was earlier deferred due to lack of quorum on February 13, was held in a conducive atmosphere in the district during which NC’s Shamshad Shan and Rabia Rashid Beig were elected to the posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson, respectively, the officials said.
In Kishtwar district, NC’s Pooja Thakur won the DDC chairperson post after securing eight votes against six by her rival Shariefa Begum who joined the Apni Party on the day of the elections in the district on February 13.
Begum had won the DDC seat on the NC ticket but later shifted her loyalty to the Apni Party.
The NC had also won six DDC seats in the district and enjoyed the support of three Congress DDC members. The BJP has three DDC members while two are independents.
Saima Shabir Lone of the Congress won the post of vice-chairperson by securing seven votes, the officials said.
“It is a proud moment for the entire Kishtwar that a woman became the first DDC chairperson in the district. I will take the opposition along to ensure the development of the entire district,” Thakur told reporters after her victory.
The elected chair-persons and vice-chairpersons of both the districts were also administered oath by the respective Deputy Commissioners.
With the completion of the DDC chairperson elections in the two districts, the focus has now shifted to Rajouri district, where the election is slated on Friday in the last phase.
In the earlier four phases, the BJP won the posts of DDC chairpersons in six districts of Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Doda and Reasi, while an independent was elected to the post in Poonch district.
Five vice-chairperson posts also went to BJP, while independents emerged victorious by winning the posts of vice-chairpersons in Reasi and Poonch districts.
In Rajouri district, the PAGD has won six seats (NC five and PDP one) and is eyeing the top post with the support of Congress which has three seats. The BJP has three DDC members and the Apni Party and independents one each in the district.
The election in the district, reserved for the scheduled tribes, was also deferred on February 13 due to lack of quorum.