J&K poll panel rejects objections against DDC reservation

No infirmity was brought out in the draft notification: State Election Commissioner

The Jammu and Kashmir State Election Commission (SEC) on Monday said the objections filed against the draft reservation for the posts of chairperson of the District Development Councils (DDCs) were “devoid of merit”.

“The SEC found that none of the objections or representations so received had any merit. No infirmity, leave alone irregularity, was brought out in the draft notification for reservation dated 25th January, 2021,” State Election Commissioner K.K. Sharma said.

With this, the SEC is ready to fill the posts around February 20. The first-ever elections to the DDCs were held during November-December last year.

According to the order, the districts of Baramulla, Ganderbal, Shopian, Ramban and Kishtwar were reserved for women. “Poonch has been reserved for women from the Scheduled Tribe Category,” it said. Anantnag in the Kashmir region and Rajouri in the Jammu region were reserved for the Scheduled Tribe, while the Jammu and Udhampur seats were reserved for the Scheduled Caste.

Earlier, the Congress questioned the women reservation roster, saying it did not comply with the order and should start from the first seat, followed by the fourth seat and so on. It had also demanded anti-defection norms and an open voting system. But the allocation finalised by the SEC was made on a three-point roster system, with the seats arranged alphabetically. The first and second seats were kept open, the third seat remained reserved for women. One-third of the total number of posts of chairperson is reserved for women.

Officials said the election to the posts of chairperson and vice-chairperson would be held through a secret ballot.

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