NC to challenge DDC chairperson polls in central Kashmir’s Budgam

Nazir Ahmad Khan - an independent DDC member -- was elected as the chairperson, while Nazir Ahmad Jahara of NC was elected as the vice-chairperson of the council.
NC to challenge DDC chairperson polls in central Kashmir’s Budgam
Photo: @OmarAbdullah/Twitter

The National Conference on Saturday said it would mount a legal challenge against the election of District Development Council chairperson in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, accusing the administration of "murdering democracy" in the Union territory.

NC vice-president Omar Abdullah said an independent candidate was made the chairman of District Development Council (DDC) despite his party having eight members, out of the total strength of 14, in the council. He added that his party also had the support of a member of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement, a part of People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).

"Talk about murdering democracy in J&K. I met 8 of our DDC members of Budgam district. There is at least 1 more alliance member of Javaid Mustafa Mir's party so 9 out of a total strength of 14 & yet in an 'election' an independent member was made the chairman (sic)," he tweeted.

Omar alleged that all this was done with the "active involvement" of the district administration which "issued blatant threats" about powers to detain people for two years.

"Early next week we will challenge this undemocratic action in the courts of law," he said in another tweet.

The National Conference (NC) has already taken up the issue with State Election Commissioner K K Sharma.

The party's Member of Parliament Hasnain Masoodi had raised the issue of "unfair mode of selection" of DDC chairman Budgam with Sharma, terming the entire exercise a "clear violation of law and rules".

"It is the betrayal of people's mandate. The mode and manner in which the entire exercise was conducted has already been brought to light by nine DDC members of Budgam district with the media," he said.

The group of nine elected DDC members from Budgam had held a protest here on Tuesday, demanding re-election for the post of chairperson.

Earlier this week, Nazir Ahmad Khan – an independent DDC member — was elected as the chairperson, while Nazir Ahmad Jahara of NC was elected as the vice-chairperson of the council.

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