SRINAGAR First ever Kashmir Press Club (KPC) elections held on Monday were swept by an alliance led by the Kashmir Editors Gulid by winning 10 of the 11 positions. It however lost the top post by a solitary vote.
Results for the maiden election to KPC were announced Monday evening and Shuja-ul-Haq was declared elected as president having secured 92 votes, one vote more than his nearest rival, Haroon Rasheed Shah. Haroon Rasheed polled 91 votes out of 231 in the rare elections, in which contestants, voters and the election commission were exclusively made up of journalists. The other candidate Zulfikar Majid got 46 votes. Two votes were rejected, said Manzoor Anjum, who headed the 8-member election body.
As many as 250 journalists affiliated with the KPC were eligible to vote in the first ever elections for the club established two years back. Two senior members of the Kashmir Bar Association were present as observers.
The members voted for candidates contesting for 11 posts, including one each of president, vice-president, general secretary, treasurer and seven of executive members.
There were three contestants each for the posts of president, vice-president and general secretary and two contestants for the post of treasurer. Twenty journalists were in the race for the seven executive member posts.
Moazam Muhammad secured 130 votes and won the post of vice president while his nearest rival Tajamul Islam got only 75 votes.
Ishfaq Ahmad Tantry secured 102 votes for the post of general secretary and his nearest rival was Riyaz Malik with 95 votes.
Post of treasurer went to Farooq Javed who got 178 votes against just 44 for his opponent Arshid Rasool.
The voters also elected seven executive members. There were 21 contestants in the fray. Those who were elected include Habib Naqash with 150 votes; Arshad Hussain Shah with 122 votes; Shafat Kirra with 105 votes; Altaf Baba with 86 votes; Nisar Ahmad Bhat 122 votes; Auqib Javed with 99 votes and Gowhar Geelani with 106 votes.
Two journalist associations — Kashmir Union of Working Journalists and Kashmir Journalist Corps — had dissociated from the election process on various grounds including granting primary membership, which carries voting rights, to many undeserving people.
he run-up to the maiden elections for the office bearers of the Press Club, also known as Aiwan-e-Sahaft, had all elements to make it a high-voltage affair as alliances were made and broken, social media campaigns were run and slogans were crafted.
The KPC, located on Polo View, is still in infancy and was handed over by previous government last year to an interim body.