STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: After facing an embarrassing defeat in Srinagar by-polls at the hands of joint opposition candidate Dr Farooq Abdullah, the ruling PDP-BJP alliance may find it difficult to ensure victory of both its candidates during Legislative Council polls on Monday.
The fate of the contesting candidates Vikram Randhawa of BJP and Thakur Balbir Singh of Congress will be decided by four MLAs who have been traditionally voting against the ruling alliance. The alliance partners are sure of winning one seat from PDP quota.
With opposition parties raising the demand for imposition of Governor’s Rule in the State, in the wake of total failure of the government to create conducive atmosphere for holding peaceful by-polls in Kashmir, the ruling alliance is unlikely to get support of these MLAs.
Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, Hakim Mohd Yasin, Er Rashid, and Pawan Gupta are expected to take a final call on Monday ahead of the voting.
On their part, both the rival candidates are hopeful of mustering majority votes and trying their level best to win over the support of likeminded MLAs to romp home victoriously.
To win both the seats, the ruling alliance has worked out a clear strategy of giving safe passage to PDP candidate Abdul Qayyum Dar.
At least 30 votes are needed to win the seat. The ruling alliance with support of 58 MLAs can allocate 28 second preference votes to Vikram Singh Randhawa.
He may still require at least two more votes for win. Even if Pawan Gupta decides to support him he may require one extra vote to get through.
The opposition parties with 27 MLAs and support of at least three others can safely get their candidate in the driving seat.
Earlier, the alliance partners were hopeful of winning the support of at least two independent candidates but ongoing political turbulence in the State is weighing heavily on their minds and they may not support the alliance partners.
LC polls today
JAMMU: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J and K, Shantmanu, who is also Observer for the conduct of biennial elections to the Legislative Council, on Sunday visited Legislative Assembly Secretariat here and took stock of the arrangements put in place for the smooth conduct of elections to elect the Members of Legislative Council (MLC).
The Chief Electoral Officer went round the Legislative Assembly Secretariat Central Hall, and enquired about the arrangements put in place there.
Briefing the Chief Electoral Officer about the arrangements, Secretary, J and K Legislative Assembly Mohammad Ramzan, who has been appointed as Returning Officer for the election, informed that all arrangements have been made with necessary paraphernalia, saying that the ballot box would be sealed in presence of authorised agents of the Political parties before commencement of polling.
Chairing a joint meeting of officers of Assembly Secretariat and Election Department, the Chief Electoral Officer also discussed the procedure of voting and counting of votes threadbare.
The elections will be held tomorrow on 17th April, 2017 in which Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) will cast their votes through open ballot from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The counting of votes and results will be declared on the same day.
Pertinently, there were eight candidates in fray for elections to six seats of the Legislative Council which will fall vacant due to retirement of six LC Members on 19th April. Out of the total eight candidates in fray, four candidates namely Yasir Reshi, G.L Raina, Aga Syed Mehmood and Pradeep Sharma made their entry to the Upper House unopposed as there was no candidate in fray. One Candidate Ashok Kumar Bhat withdrew his candidature.
Now there are three candidates in fray. These include PDP candidate Abdul Qayoom Dar (Jammu Province), BJP candidates Vikram Randhawa (Jammu Province) and NC and INC candidate Thakur Balbir Singh (Jammu Province).
Among others Joint Chief Electoral Officer Raman Kumar Kesar, Joint Director Information, Jammu Manisha Sarin, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Krishan Lal, Deputy Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly appointed as Assistant Returning Officer also accompanied the Chief Electoral Officer.
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