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DDC polls in J&K: PAGD yet to pick chairpersons, deputies

Apni party led by Altaf Bukhari is eyeing the post of chairman in at least two or three districts in Kashmir
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Srinagar, Srinagar
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 10:26 PM IST

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), is yet to finalise the names of candidates for the election of the chairpersons and deputy chairpersons for the district development councils even as the alliance managed to sweep ten district councils.

Apni party led by Altaf Bukhari is eyeing the post of chairman in at least two or three districts in Kashmir.

PAGD, an amalgam of six mainstream parties had won most of its seats from the 10 districts of Kashmir. Earlier the alliance was planning to bag the post of chairperson in all ten districts. All the newly-elected DDC members took oath in their respective districts on Monday.

On Tuesday, the NC and the PDP leaders held meetings with the newly-elected members at the party headquarters. However, the alliance leaders did not meet once after the results were declared to formulate the plan of getting its members elected as chairpersons and deputy chairpersons.

“No date has been specified yet for the purpose but the alliance leaders will be meeting soon in a few days,” said People’s Conference spokesman Adnan Ashraf.

PDP spokesman Tahir Sayeed said that the alliance leaders will meet and decide on the names once the dates for elections of chairman and deputy chairman for the councils will be announced. “From the past two days, the PDP president had been meeting elected DDC members and independent candidates who were part of the party earlier.”

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and NC president Farooq Abdullah who is also president of PAGD held a separate meeting with newly-elected DDC members in Srinagar.

“This resounding success has come as a shock to those who wrote political obituaries of our party. In their arrogance they thought by not allowing me to the campaign, intimidating us, arresting our leaders PDP will not perform. Ours is not just a party but a movement which will never compromise on its ideals and core political philosophy of dialogue and reconciliation,” Mehbooba Mufti told the DDC members of the party at party headquarters.

She said that for the restoration of lasting peace in J&K dialogue is pivotal. “We will not allow Kashmir to be a battleground but work relentlessly so that J&K acts as a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan. We will fight for our rights. We are not the ones who will raise white flags despite fatal blows being dealt with our economy and livelihoods.”

Three to four independent DDC members had joined the Apni party in the past three days that has tilted the balance in favour of the party at least in the Shopian district. The party is also emerging as the front runner in Srinagar district to get the chairmanship and the party is eyeing Bandipore district where PAGD is short of a majority.

On Monday, Altaf Bukhari said that newly-elected members especially independent DDC members are joining his party without any pressure.

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