DDC Elections: JKAP Chairpersons In 2 Districts, PAGD In One

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) led by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari has 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 Peoples 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.

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.

JKAP chief 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 M 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.

Disqualify Members Who Switched Sides: NC To SEC

Meanwhile, the National Conference on Saturday sought disqualification of DDC members under the anti-defection law for swapping sides after contesting and winning polls from a particular party ticket, manifesto and symbol.

NC raised the issue of defections of elected DDC members with the state Chief Election Commissioner J&K, KK Sharma impressing upon him to examine the issues as it violates the people’s mandate and spirit of democracy, a party spokesperson said Saturday.

He said that the 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 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.

The statement further said that the party leaders said if the issue wasn’t combated, it is likely to undermine the very foundations of democracy.

The NC spokesperson said that 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,” he said.  (with PTI inputs)

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