Apni Party wins Srinagar, Shopian DDC chairperson, VC posts

Apni Party leaders Aftab Malik and Bilal Ahmad showing victory signs after being elected as chairman and vice chairman of Srinagar DDC. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Apni Party leaders Aftab Malik and Bilal Ahmad showing victory signs after being elected as chairman and vice chairman of Srinagar DDC. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Kulgam DDC chairman post goes to CPM, VC to NC

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Feb 6: The Apni Party today won two District Development Council (DDC) Chairperson and Vice Chairperson posts with the help of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), denting the prospects of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration that won maximum DDC seats in Kashmir valley last year.

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The Apni Party candidate Aftab Malik became chairman of DDC Srinagar as he bagged 10 votes while Malik’s rival bagged only three votes. Bilal Ahmad of the AP was elected vice-chairperson as he secured nine votes while his rival from People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Manzoor Ahmad Bhat bagged only four votes.
The BJP’s lone DDC member from Srinagar, Ajaz Hussain also supported AP candidates for both the posts.
District Election Officer (District Development Commissioner) Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said that 13 out of the total 14 elected DDC members participated in the meeting today. He said the elected member from Harwan-IV constituency could not take part in the meeting due to health condition.
Kaiser Ahmad Ganai with three votes and Manzoor Ahmad Bhat with four votes were the runners-up in the chairperson and vice chairperson elections respectively.
Dr Shahid said the whole process of the election to the chairperson and vice chairperson positions of the DDC Srinagar was smooth adding that the elections were held in a free and fair manner.
Chairperson DDC Srinagar, Malik Aftab pledged to work for the welfare of the people in district Srinagar. He said that he will work jointly with all the members of DDC irrespective of their political affiliations for the betterment of the people.
“My first priority would be to provide hassle free basic amenities to all the localities in district Srinagar falling under the DDC jurisdiction,” he said.
He thanked the people for giving him a chance to serve them through the means of the District Development Council. “I would also like to thank Apni Party president and its leadership for reposing trust and confidence in me and my colleagues which ensured our win in these elections,” he added.
The AP won the chairman and vice-chairman posts in the DDC chairperson elections in Shopian district as well.
The AP candidate Bilqees Akhtar polled eight votes while her rival candidate from PAGD secured six votes. The vice-chairman post was decided through a draw of lots as there was a tie. The vice-chairman post was also won by JKAP.
Bilqees Akhter of Watch who had won DDC elections from Zainapora-1 block will be the first chairperson of Shopian while as Irfan Manhas will be the vice-chairperson.
Both PAGD and AP had support of seven DDC members each, however, one among PAGD members voted in favour of Apni Party.
In Shopian out of the 14 seats, four seats each were bagged by National Conference (NC) and Independent candidates while PDP, JKAP and Congress secured three, two and one seat respectively.
However, later, three out of four Independent candidates and one each from NC and Congress joined the Apni Party while one Independent candidate joined NC.
DDC Vice chairman of Shopian district, Irfan Manhas, said that they will work for the over-all development of the district.
“This victory belongs to people and we will make sure that we work for the over-all development of this district. At the same time, we will strive to address and resolve multiple issues that people are facing”, he said.
“We will also work for the effective implementation of the Government schemes and projects in the district so that people can reap maximum benefits from it”, he added.
“I thank the district administration Shopian which conducted these elections in a free and fair manner. I also thank my party leadership, particularly, Altaf Bukhari who reposed trust in us”, he said.
Chairman of AP Altaf Bukhari told reporters after the party victory that it is the victory of people of Jammu and Kashmir. “I want to thank people of Srinagar and Shopian. As of now, we have a chairman and vice-chairman in the DDCs both in Srinagar as well as in Shopian. This is the victory of people. I want to assure people that the council has been formed to address the developmental needs of people and we will work in that direction”, he said.
“These people who have been elected today, do not have any association with the traditional politics, they are all young. This is the start of democracy and the politics of truth has won. We will pursue the issues of people till the end come what may”, he said.
Bukhari thanked BJP for its support. “I even thank BJP for voting in our favour in the elections that were held. Apni party is not here for the power, we stand for the politics of consensus and development”, he said.
CPI (M) candidate was unanimously elected as the first District Development Council (DDC) chairman of Kulgam district while National Conference (NC) bagged seats of DDC vice-chairman and chairman of the Municipal Council.
The CPI (M) candidate Mohammad Afzal, who is also district secretary CPI (M) and had won DDC elections on Pombai seat, was unanimously elected as the first DDC chairman of Kulgam. He was supported by all the 13 candidates.
NC candidate Shazia Poswal, who won DDC elections from Manzgam seat, was also elected unanimously as vice-chairperson.
In Municipal elections, NC got the seat of chairman Municipal Council as well.
The newly elected DDC chairman of Kulgam district Mohammad Afzal thanked the entire leadership of the PAGD especially, Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and GA Mir for their relentless support
“I also, thank the elected DDC members of Kulgam who were supportive and made this process possible. There has to be a message of unity that needs to be sent out from Kulgam”, he said.
“And today, we pledge that we will work towards the overall development of this district, be it power, water supply, ration. We will work towards the betterment of the people of this district on every front”, he assured.
Meanwhile, CPI (M) General Secretary and former MLA Kulgam, M Y Tarigami in a tweet congratulated the winning candidates and thanked the candidates for their unanimous support.
“Congratulations to Comrade M Afzal of our party CPIM for being elected as DDC chairman of the 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 (sic),” Tarigami said.
The whole election process was carried out by District Panchayat Election Officer (DPEO) Kulgam, Showkat Aijaz Bhat. Later, he administered the oath to both the chairperson and vice-chairperson.
He also congratulated all these members and highlighted their role in taking the development of the district to the newer heights.
In Kulgam, five seats were won by NC and CPI (M) and two each by the Congress and PDP.