PAGD finalises candidates for phase-1 of DDC polls

File Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday finalised the candidates for the first phase of the District Development Council (DDC) polls to be held on November 28.  PAGD, a group of seven political parties which vow for restoration of Article 370 had last week decided to contest the DDC polls with joint candidates.

In a daylong meeting at National Conference headquarters Nawai Subhu complex, the political parties held discussions to finalise the candidates for the polls. Leaders of the parties had earlier met on Tuesday evening to discuss the candidates for the polls but the meeting had remained inconclusive.

Addressing media persons after Wednesday’s meeting, National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said, “There was consensus among all the parties for choosing candidates for the first phase except some differences which are being sorted out.”

“We have accommodated each party and chosen candidates based on the parties’ performance in the Parliamentary polls. Some parties had a contention that they don’t want to give up on a particular seat, which is being sorted,” Sagar said.

Another senior NC leader also confirmed that candidates for the first phase of the DDC polls were finalised. He said there was a “consensus among all the parties” on the seat sharing arrangement “expect differences on two seats which was being finalised.”

“We are not very particular about the numbers (of which party will contest on how many seats). There are several other factors which have come into play for deciding candidates. There was a consensus except for two seats which are being discussed,” the NC leader said. He said candidates for rest of the phases of DDC polls will be finalised in a meeting of the PAGD parties to be held on Friday.

The election commission has announced DDC polls on 280 seats in 8 phases in J&K.

On November 9, Dr Farooq Abdullah who is the PAGD president, said candidates of the amalgam’s constituents will fight the DDC polls on their own party symbols. The DDC poll would be the first major political activity to take place in J&K since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year.

According to the notifications, the last date for submitting nominations for the first phase is November 12 followed by scrutiny a day later and withdrawal of candidature on November 16. The polling would be held from 7 am to 2 pm on November 28 for the first phase. The counting of votes for all the phases would be on December 22.