Gupkar alliance wins DDC chairperson post in J&K's Rajouri19 February 2021
Jammu: The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Friday won the post of District Development Council (DDC) chairperson in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Rajouri, which is reserved for Scheduled Tribes, went to the polls in the final phase that marked the conclusion of the election process to DDC posts in all the 20 districts of the Union territory, officials said. The win in Rajouri gave PAGD, an alliance of various mainstream parties including National Conference, PDP and CPI(M), its third district in Jammu region. On Friday, PAGD had won the posts of DDC chairpersons in Ramban and Kishtwar districts with the support of Congress, whose DDC member was also elected to the post of vice-chairperson in Kishtwar. NC's Naseem Liaqat, an advocate, won the post of DDC chairperson in Rajouri by eight votes against six by his rival Shazia Choudhary (independent), while senior Congress leader and former minister Shabir Khan was elected to the post of vice-chairperson after PAGD and Congress joined hands. All 14 members were present and the election concluded in a conducive atmosphere, the officials said. Of the 14 DDC seats, PAGD had won six (NC five and PDP one) followed by Congress and BJP (three each) and Apni Party and an independent (one each) in the elections held in November-December last year. The election in the district was rescheduled for Friday after it was deferred on February 13 due to lack of quorum. In the earlier four phases in Jammu division, BJP had won the posts of DDC chairpersons in the six districts of Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Doda and Reasi while an independent was elected to the post in Poonch district. Five vice-chairperson posts also went to BJP, while independents emerged victorious by winning the posts of vice-chairpersons in Reasi and Poonch districts. In Kashmir valley, PAGD had won five districts of Bandipora, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag, while J&K Apni party had got two districts of Srinagar and Shopian and Peoples Conference, which exited from the PAGD recently, got the DDC chairperson post in Kupwara. Budgam and Baramulla districts went to independent candidates despite PAGD emerging as the single largest party at both the places due to cross-voting.