In a significant decision by the BJP ahead of the Jammu and Kashmir District Development Council (DDC) elections, Minister of State in Finance Ministry Anurag Thakur has been appointed as the election in-charge of the Party for the upcoming local body elections in the union territory. The DDC polls hold much prominence for being the first electoral process after the erstwhile state got bifurcated into two union territories post the abrogation of article 370 in August 2019.
The BJP on Saturday announced the list of star campaigners for DDC elections. Apart from Anurag Thakur, the list includes Union Ministers Jitendra Singh, Smriti Irani, Partap Sarangi, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur, and other leaders namely, General VK Singh, Tarun Chug, Shahnawaz Hussain, Zaffar-ul-Islam and Dushyant Gautam.
Strongly criticising the Centre's move of abrogating article 370, all the opposition parties that formed the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) announced that they would be participating in the upcoming DDC elections. As per an official statement of the PAGD, the delegation comprising of Sikh groups, Gaddi and Sippi leaders, members of Kashmiri Pandit community, transporters, Gujjars, Bakerwals and parties National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, People’s Conference, Awami National Conference, CPM and JK People’s Movement held detailed discussions with its constituents over the prevailing situation in the UT. Congress too has joined the alliance on Saturday.
Attacking the Centre over the abrogation of Article 270, J&K Congress Chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir announced that the (PAGD) will contest the polls together to 'defeat' those who had forcibly implemented laws against the wishes of the citizens.
Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commissioner KK Sharma had issued the first notification for conducting the maiden District Development Council (DDC) elections in 20 districts of the union territory. Delimitation had been done for the constituencies and 280 DDCs have been identified across the union territory for undertaking the elections, with 14 DDC constituencies in each district. Voting in the first phase of polls will take place on November 28. In the first phase, by-elections will also be held for three urban local bodies – Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), Pahalgam Municipal Council and Ashmuqam Municipal Council. Over 350 nominations have been received for 43 seats going to polls in the first phase of the DDC polls.