Kupwara, Dec 04 : The election in the Drugmulla district development council (DDC) seat, which will witness polling on Monday, is being dubbed as a semi-final between National Conference and Peoples Conference in the north Kashmir’s Kupwara district before the first assembly election of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory, which could be held in 2023 or 2024.
Considered arch-rivals, National Conference and Peoples Conference had allied together in the district development council (DDC) polls in 2020, but the latter had parted ways with the amalgam, accusing the former of fielding proxy candidates on the seats allotted to it as part of the pre-poll pact.
In this election, PC is supporting Shabnam Lone, who had filed nomination papers as PDP candidate in 2020. After the State Election commissioner announced the schedule for re-poll on November 16, 2022, PDP distanced itself from Shabnam and wrote to the J&K election commissioner to withdraw the “inkpot and pen” symbol allotted to her.
PC also approached the authorities to change her symbol, but the authorities conveyed to them that it cannot be done, as the date for withdrawal of nominations had closed nearly two years ago. November 23, 2020 was the last date for withdrawal of candidature for the seat.
In the past two weeks, senior PC leaders Mir Muhammad Fayaz and Bashir Ahmad Dar were seeking votes for “inkpot and pen” which is the official symbol of PDP.
Both NC and PDP are supporting separate candidates in the election despite being constituents of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD).
In the polls, National Conference leaders Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan and Mir Saifullah campaigned for advocate Aminah, who had filed nomination papers as an independent candidate in 2020.
Interestingly, Peoples Democratic Party is backing Rifat Wani, who is also contesting as an independent candidate.
Apni Party, Congress BJP candidates are also contesting polls in the seat.
An official told news agency— that ten candidates are in the fray.
“We have set up 42 polling stations in the seat, “he said