Randhawa, Balbir elected to LC

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/18/2017 2:28:08 PM

Dar loses in draw of lots

JAMMU, Apr 17: Close on the heels of its defeat in the Srinagar parliamentary by-polls, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday suffered another setback in the keenly contested biennial elections to the two Legislative Council seats, with one of independents with his almost avowed affiliation to it (PDP) voting for alliance partner BJP and helping it emerge victorious.
In `miscalculated game’, Congress candidate Balbir Singh, who was the joint nominee of NC-Congress combine easily made it to the Upper House with the help of four independents. However, PDP candidate Abdul Qayoom Dar finally lost in draw of lots to BJP candidate Vikram Randhawa as both had secured 29 votes each.
Dar was enjoying safe passage to the Council as BJP had already won two Council seats uncontested on April 3 including GL Raina alias Ajay Bharti from Kashmir and Pardeep Sharma from Poonch. PDP got only one Yasir Reshi from Kashmir. Fourth uncontested seat had gone to NC, whose nominee Aga Syed Mehmood Al Mousvi won on Kashmir seat.
PDP presumably was having 30 votes of its own with the support of independent Zanskar MLA Syed Baqir Rizvi while BJP candidate was having 28 votes (including two votes of Peoples Conference).
Election results were declared by Secretary, J&K Legislative Assembly Mohammad Ramzan, who was designated as Returning Officer (RO) for the election.
Balbir Singh secured 31 votes while Vikram Randhawa secured 29 votes and both were declared winners. Randhawa was declared winner on the basis of draw of lots, a procedure laid down in the Constitution, as the PDP candidate Abdul Qayoom Dar also secured the equal number of votes (29).
The elections were held at the Central Hall of the Legislative Assembly Secretariat under the overall supervision of Chief Electoral Officer, J&K Shantmanu, for which appropriate arrangements were put in place there.
The voting commenced at 9:00 AM and ended at 4:00 PM as per schedule. All 89 MLAs (including two nominated) exercised their franchise through open ballot.
Eight candidates were in fray for elections to six seats of the Legislative Council, which will fall vacant due to retirement of 6 LC members on April 19. Out of the total 8 candidates in fray, four candidates namely Yasir Reshi, G L Raina, Aga Syed Mehmood and Pradeep Sharma had already made their entry to the Upper House unopposed as there was no candidate in fray. One candidate Ashok Kumar Bhat had withdrawn his candidature.
There were only three candidates in straight fray for the two seats from Jammu province. Three candidates in fray included PDP’s Abdul Qayoom Dar, BJP’s Vikram Randhawa and NC-INC’s joint candidate Thakur Balbir Singh.
With the declaration of the results to the two seats today, the election process for six MLC seats falling vacant on April 19, 2017 was completed.
In the meanwhile, the president JKPCC G A Mir and all senior leaders of the party conveyed gratitude to all the legislators who ensured the victory of the Congress in the elections to the Member Legislative Council held today.
Congratulating the party candidate Balbir Singh and party workers throughout the state, Mir thanked the MLAs of Congress, NC and others who ensured victory of coalition candidate in this crucial election. “The victory of Congress nominee was made possible by the like minded MLAs who sided with the secular coalition, for which we express our gratitude to them,” Mir said.



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