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Opinion

JK DDC Polls: Key North Kashmir Outposts Will Likely Seal Fate Of 3 Powerful Political Families

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Two seats in the District Development Council of northern Kashmir’s Sangrama constituency are likely to decide the fate of three powerful Kashmiri political families.

Sangrama, which is part of the Baramulla district, has two DDC seats: Wagoora and Sangrama. While the first is reserved for women candidates, in the second there is a triangular contest between the former legislator candidate of the Apni Party, Shoiab Lone; PPD spokesman Suhail Bukhari, candidate for the alliance; and an independent candidate Irfan Hafiz. Voting for both seats took place on Friday amid tight security and more than 30 percent of voters exercised their right to vote in both DDC seats.

In Wagoora’s reserved seat, four contestants are in the fight, including Safeena Baig, wife of former J&K MP CM and former Baramulla MP Muzaffar Baig. The Baramulla deputy recently resigned from the PDP as his sponsor after the Peoples’ Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) denied the ticket to his wife, who was also the head of the PDP’s women’s wing. The seat was awarded to candidate NC.

Safeena contested as an independent candidate. Baig had influence over two seats, Baramulla and Sangrama, lately the influence waned after Baig’s nephew and former lawmaker Javeed Baig left the PPD and joined the Apni party. Baig’s other brother also joined the Apni party. A day before the polls, Baig’s son by his first wife, Zahid Baig, also released a critical video against Safeena on social media.

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“This is a very important election for Baig, especially Safeena and if he manages to win the DDC seat, they (Baigs) can start over from this place,” said young businessman Fayaz Ahmad after casting his vote at a polling station. installed. inside the Sultanpora government school.

“More than 300 people voted in the first four hours and more people will come and it will be a triangular contest between Safeena, the candidate of the Apni Party and the candidate of the alliance,” he said, adding that it could be a close contest but for old. Baig (Muzaffar Hussain) everything is at stake.

In the village of Kreeri, the hometown of former North Carolina minister and leader Basharat Bukhari, voters flocked in small groups to cast their votes at three polling stations set up at the local high school as election officials distributed ballot papers. voting among voters.

“This is a local election, but it will be very important for the future of the three leaders Muzaffar Baig, Bashaarat Bukhari and Shoaib Lone. Baig and Bukhari had been former ministers, while Lone’s father was also a former minister. This time the enthusiasm of the past elections is lacking, but the ballot box is important to all these political families, ”said CDB President Kreeri, Ghulam Mohiuddin Sofi, as he asked his supporters to vote for the symbol of a particular candidate. Another voter, Shabir Ahmad, said that for political families it is going to be a turf war. “It will be interesting to see which family will be victorious.”

The loners are fighting in both seats while Nasreena disputes from Wagoora, Shoiab disputes from Sangrama. He lost two pre-assembly elections by a small margin and this time his victory is crucial. He left Congress in March and joined the Apni Party in March. Bashaarat Bukhari won the last assembly elections with the candidacy of the PDP and was a minister in the last PDP government of the BJP, but resigned from the PDP and joined NC before August 5, 2019.

In the neighboring village of Shrakawara, very few people had made their way to the polling station compared to previous elections. “We had powerful people representing us in the past when J&K was a full-blown state. Now these great leaders are fighting the panchayat polls. They are doing it for their political survival, ”said Nisar Ahmad, who did not cast his vote and called it a futile exercise.

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