PAGD win likely in Bandipora, tough contest in Baramulla

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Feb 12 : In the final phase of elections for chairpersons and vice chairpersons for District Development Councils (DDC) of twin districts of North Kashmir Bandipora and Baramulla are going to vote tomorrow with People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) win certain in one district while in another district they are facing tough contest.
The election for the DDC chairpersons and vice-chairpersons in Baramulla was to be held on February 8 but it was postponed due to lack of quorum. Against the requirement of 10 members, only seven were present in Baramulla that day and later Deputy Commissioner, Aijaz Asad issued a fresh notice and poll date was fixed for February 13.
Going by rules governing election for chairperson/vice-chairperson of DDCs, the quorum for first meeting of chairperson and vice-chairperson shall be two-third of the elected members. However, the quorum for second and subsequent election meetings will be eight in Baramulla district as rules mandate that election will take place if only a simple majority is present.
In Baramulla, there are 14 DDC members, two each are from Apni Party, National Conference (NC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress while Peoples Conference (PC) has three members and Independents are also three in number.
The PAGD has fielded Advocate Quratul Bashir for the post of chairperson and Independent candidate Advocate Irfan Lone for the post of vice chairman. The two PAGD candidates have 7 votes – two each from PDP, NC and Congress and one independent.
Independent candidate Safeena Baigh wife of former Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh is also contesting for post of chairperson and Peoples Conference Sanullah Parray for the post of vice chairperson. Safeena and Parray have support from three PC members, 2 Apni Party members and two Independents.
There are apprehensions of cross voting in favour of Safeena so she has an edge over Advocate Quratul Bashir.
In Bandipora district, for the Chairperson post, two candidates are in fray. They are PAGD candidate from NC Abdul Gani and Apni Party candidate Firdousa Akhter. And for Vice Chairperson post an Independent Tahir Qadri will be contesting against PDP’s Kousar Shafiq.
There are only 13 DDC members as the counting of votes in the 14th constituency-Hajin-C was not held in December last year. The counting was put on hold as one of the candidates is a Pakistani national.
The PAGD has eight DDC members including five from NC and three from PDP while two are from Apni Party, one from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and two are Independents. The PAGD has a clear majority in the district and they are poised to win provided there is no cross voting.