Dates for re-poll in two DDC constituencies of north Kashmir soon: Election officer

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Jammu, Mar 24 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commissioner (SEC) K K Sharma on Wednesday said the dates for re-polls in the two DDC constituencies of Dragmulla and Hajin-A in north Kashmir will be announced shortly.

Sharma was speaking at a review meeting convened here to discuss the re-poll in the two District Development Council (DDC) constituencies, where the counting was earlier kept in abeyance to clear the citizenship issues of two of the contesting candidates in December last year.

The meeting was held at the Nirvachan Bhawan and was attended by the divisional commissioner of Kashmir and the deputy commissioners of Kupwara and Bandipora through video-conferencing and other senior officers of State Election Commission, an official spokesperson said.

'At the very outset, the meeting was briefed about the commission's order, whereby the poll process for these two constituencies, Dragmulla in Kupwara district and Hajin-A in Bandipora district, has been extended up to March 31. The comments of the participants regarding issues (if any) pertaining to the conduct of re-poll in these two DDC constituencies were also invited and discussed,' he said.

He said the divisional commissioner of Kashmir and the deputy commissioners of both the districts invited attention of the SEC towards the prevailing weather conditions in the valley.

The SEC, while appreciating the inputs of participants, asked them to take all the preliminary steps needed for the upcoming re-polls for which the commission would shortly announce dates, the spokesman said.

The maiden DDC elections to 280 seats -- 14 each in 20 districts -- were held in November-December last year and the results declared for 278 seats. The chairpersons and their deputies in all the 20 districts were elected last month.

Two Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) nationals, who are married to former militants, were among the contestants from the Dragmulla and Hajin-A constituencies.

'The Election Commission acted after a complaint was received and the names of both these candidates were accordingly removed from the electoral rolls because of this doubt… The question about their citizenship is there and so we will be hearing from them and will take a decision accordingly,' Sharma had said earlier. PTI TAS AB IJT