BJP leaders elected DDC chairmen in Jammu, Kathua districts

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Jammu, Feb 6 (PTI) Four BJP leaders were on Saturday elected District Development Council (DDC) chairmen and vice chairmen in Jammu and Kathua districts respectively, marking the beginning of a new phase in the panchayati raj institutions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The maiden DDC elections to 280 seats -- 14 each in 20 districts of the UT -- were held in November-December last year with People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) sweeping the polls by winning 110 seats out of the 278 declared results.

Results of two seats in north Kashmir are awaited as the issue of citizenship of two contestants prompted suspension of the counting.

BJP emerged as the single largest party by winning 75 seats, mostly in the Jammu region, and enjoys a clear majority in five districts -- Kathua and Samba (13 seats each), Jammu and Udhampur (11 each seats) and Doda (eight seats). After an independent candidate extended his support to the party, it also has a majority in Reasi district where it had got seven seats on its own.

The election to elect the chairperson and vice chairperson for DDC Jammu and Kathua in the first phase saw BJP leaders -- Bharat Bhushan (chairman) and Suraj Singh (vice chairman) (Jammu) and Col (Retd) Mann Singh (chairman) and Raghunandan Singh (vice chairman) (Kathua) -- getting elected unopposed.

“We will live to the expectations of the people and will try our best to speed up the development of our district,” Bhushan, who was elected chairman of the DDC Jammu, told reporters outside the BJP headquarters here after his supporters took out a victory march in the city.

He said his party has expressed faith in him and he will live to the expectations and would make all out efforts to address the issues of the public like strengthening the water supply network and road connectivity.

“All round development is our priority,” he said.

Three districts in the valley -- Srinagar, Shopian and Kulgam -- also elected their DDC chairpersons and vice chairpersons in the first phase.

While J-K Apni party led by former finance minister Altaf Bukhari has won the elections to the post of chairperson of Srinagar and Shopian, the PAGD which among others include the National Conference and the PDP won Kulgam district.

The PAGD has got a clear majority in six districts and has also got an edge in five other districts as it is just short of one or two seats for the majority.

Independent candidates have won 50 seats and their support will be crucial for parties eyeing for DDC chairmen and vice chairmen posts in a number of districts. PTI TAS AQS AQS