Second phase of J-K DDC polls held in Budgam, Kupwara

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Srinagar, Feb 8 (PTI) The second phase of elections to the posts of chairpersons for District Development Councils (DDC) in Budgam and Kupwara districts of Jammu and Kashmir was held on Monday, officials said.

However, the polls in Baramulla district were postponed, they said.

In Budgam district in central Kashmir, Nazir Ahmad Khan--an independent DDC member--was elected as the chairperson, while Nazir Ahmad Jahara of the National Conference (NC) was elected as vice-chairperson of DDC, officials said.

Khan was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but decided to contest the DDC polls which were held in December last year as an independent candidate.

His decision came after the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) seeking the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, fielded an NC candidate from the seat in Beerwah area which he wanted to contest.

According to officials, there was a tie between Khan and Abdul Ahad Dar with each securing seven votes.

A draw of lots was held in which Khan was declared as the winner, they said.

The officials said in Kupwara district in north Kashmir, the Peoples Conference (PC) led by Sajad Lone secured the post of the chairperson, while the party-backed independent candidate won the vice-chairperson's post.

The party’s DDC member Irfan Panditpuri was elected as the chairperson, while Farooq Ahmad was elected the vice-chairperson, they said.

Out of 13 DDC members in the district, nine members made their presence in the scheduled election which fulfilled the quorum limit of two-third majority, they added.

Meanwhile, the NC claimed that the district administration of Kupwara flouted election norms by playing “a partisan role to engineer a particular outcome”.

Kupwara district president Qaisar Jamsheed Lone said all set norms were thrown to the wind in the elections to elect DDC chairperson.

“The predetermined time for the elections was set from 11 am to 1 pm during which the electoral process could not be initiated due to lack of required quorum, pending which the process was adjourned,” he said.

Lone alleged that the polls were held in a veil of secrecy at around 2 pm, much after the stimulated time slot was fixed for the electoral exercise.

The elections for the post of chairperson and vice-chairperson for Baramulla DDC council were postponed due to lack of quorum, officials said.

They said some elected DDC members were not present for the meeting to elect the chairperson, so the authorities postponed the polls.

The new date for the elections will be announced later, they added.

In the first phase of the polls to the posts of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons for three districts on Saturday, the Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party won from Srinagar and Shopian, while the CPI(M), which is part of the PAGD, won from Kulgam.