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Drugmulla DDC election: PC seeks votes for PDP’s symbol; PDP campaigns against its own symbol

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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.

Also Read: Mehidy Hasan Miraz anchors Bangladesh to a stunning win against India

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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, news agency KNO reported.

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.

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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).

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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.

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An official said that ten candidates are in the fray.

“We have set up 42 polling stations in the seat, “he said.

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Encroachment drive another UAPA for JK people, alleges Mehbooba

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday alleged that the encroachment drive launched by the government is another UAPA for the people in Jammu & Kashmir, terming the step a part of corruption practice as under the influence of this drive, the government wants money from rich and vote from the poor.

Also Read: Family of man found dead 2 days ago in Sopore locality protest, allege murder

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Addressing a news conference here, the former chief minister said that the drive to retrieve the land is being used as a weapon against the people of J&K to uproot them, suppress and harass them and also make them homeless. “It is another UAPA for the people, otherwise China has encroached our 20000 sq km land, if the government is serious then let the encroached land be retrieved from China first,” she said.

As per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), she said that there are some people who possess the land since Maharajas rule and their land properties are also being demolished, adding that first the government created rift between the religious communities and now it is making attempts to create a rift between poor and rich class through this drive.

However, she said that such measures cannot be stopped until and unless the people from J&K and Ladakh are not united. “The people here in Kashmir are not being allowed to hit the streets. The people were even trying to participate in Bharat Jodo Yatra in large number, but they were not allowed. The government has created a situation where the people are not being allowed to come out. The people of Ladakh have united, but until and unless Jammu’s Dogra and Kashmiri people don’t get united, these measures cannot be stopped,” she said.

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“Jammu people reacted yesterday, but people in Kashmir can’t do so as there is NIA, ED and other agencies behind Kashmir. How would it be possible that the people will come out to react over the issue,” she said, adding that these drives are part of a massive corruption here as they want to get money from the rich and vote from the poor. “The poor are being asked to vote against their land and the rich are being asked to meet some officials in this regard,” she said.

Mehbooba also said that if the government is serious in retrieving the land; let it start from Governor House, B B Cant here.

Asked about the budget presented today in parliament, Mehbooba said that there was nothing new in today’s budget as the financial plan by the incumbent government is being made for the benefits of some capitals and businessmen. “The taxes being collected should have been used for the welfare of people, but the budget is being made for some businessmen only. The situation is such that the poor are getting poorer, the free ration quantity has been reduced to four kilograms,” she added.

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Targeted killings, bomb blasts testimony to deteriorated security situation in J-K: Rahul Gandhi

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Congress leader and Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that there has been no change in the security situation in Jammu & Kashmir given the targeted killings and bomb blasts here. He, however, stated he would not go back to past, but would look forward to the best in the Union Territory.

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Addressing a press conference in Taj Vivanta Hotel in Srinagar, Rahul Gandhi, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said he was not happy to what he saw in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In fact, I was saddened when I walked through J&K as nobody is happy here and Ladakh as well.”

He added restoration of democratic process and statehood is imperative and the fundamental right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Gandhi, who was flanked by General Secretary Incharge Communication, Jairam Ramesh, Incharge J&K Rajni Patil, JKPCC president, Vikar Rasool Wani, former PCC president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, former MP Tariq Hameed Karra, PCC working president Raman Bhalla, former deputy chief minister Tara Chand and others, said the motive behind the Yatra was to spread love amid hatred being spread by BJP and RSS across the country.

“The yatra has culminated in Srinagar and main function will be held tomorrow. I got a lot to experience through this yatra, I met lakhs of people, talked to them, I have no words to describe my journey as I got a good response from the people all across including J&K. It was the best experience of my life,” he said.

Gandhi said during the Yatra people raised two important issues which included unemployment and price hike. “I thank all the people across the country, media and the Yatris, CRPF, police and others who extended their support to us,” he said.

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He further said the Yatra was not Congress party’s Yatra, instead of party leaders, who walked most in it. “The Yatra gave an alternative vision to the people amidst existing BJP & RSS vision that is filled with hatred and violence. Now, the people have two days with them, one is aimed to suppress people and another is full of love and affection,” he said.

He further said this yatra has not ended but it is a first step as there is a lot more to do in future for an alternative vision for the people and some active measures will be taken in this regard.

About his yatra in J&K, he said he met a lot of people here and nobody is happy. “I met people in Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, nobody was happy here. I am not happy with what I see in J&K, in fact, I got saddened when I walk through J&K. While entering J&K, a strange idea came to my mind about my family that descended from J&K and went to Allahabad,” he said.

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He said it felt like he was going home and that was a powerful feeling. “I have affection towards people of J&K. I came here with open heart and open arms to help in whatever way I can. I was humbled with the reception we got. I think love and affection and listening is a powerful force,” he said while replying to a query.

On being asked about abrogation of Article and its restoration, he said they cleared their position in party’s working committee document.

About the improvment in security situation, he said the argument doesn’t work at a time of targetted killings, bomb blasts and other things.

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“If the situation has improved, let Union Home Minister Amit Shah hold a rally from Jammu to Srinagar,” he said.

About the land laws, he said he has already spoke over the issue and whenever elected government is formed, it can take a decision accordingly.

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Bharat Jodo Yatra came like breath of fresh air in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti

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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was like a breath of fresh air in Kashmir as it allowed people to come out of their homes in numbers for the first time since 2019.

Also Read: Restoration of democratic process, Statehood utmost priority in J-K: Jairam Ramesh

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The Centre, on August 5, 2019, revoked Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Rahul Gandhi’s yatra comes like a breath of fresh air in Kashmir. It is the first time since 2019 that Kashmiris have come out of their homes in such massive numbers.

It was a great experience to walk with him,” the Peoples Democratic Party leader tweeted.

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The former chief minister had joined the Rahul Gandhi-led march at Chursoo in Pulwama district of south Kashmir earlier in the day.

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