After protests, new orders puts J&K DDC chiefs at par with mayors
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday issued a revised warrant of precedence, placing the status of chiefs of the district development councils (DDCs) at par with those of the mayors of the Jammu and Srinagar municipal corporations.
The order, which was issued by the Hospitality and Protocol Department, came nearly a month after the newly-elected DDC members staged a protest over the issue of protocol and monthly honorarium.
The latest warrant of precedence also places DDC chairmen above Members of Parliament in terms of precedence.
Besides this, the order also put ”District Magistrates, Officers of the rank of Brigadiers and equivalent, Major Heads of Department, Conservator of Forests, District & Session Judges, Chairpersons, Block Development Councils, Presidents of Municipal Councils and Municipalities under the same protocol.”
In the maiden DDC polls in the Union territory, Farooq Abdullah-led People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) won 110 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the single largest party by securing 75 seats,
On March 9, the newly-elected DDC members, irrespective of their parties, boycotted a two-day programme and staged a protest against the warrant of precedence. Some of them also demanded a hike in their honorarium.
“This is our insult and humiliation,” Shabir Ahmad Lone, DDC member from Rafiabad, said then.
The protest was, however, called off a day later following an assurance by Lt Governor Sinha to address the issue.
The old honorarium ensured ₹35,000 per month to a DDC chairperson, ₹25,000 per month to vice chairperson and ₹15,000 per month to a DDC member. The new honorarium is yet to be released.