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Miffed Rizvi's cross vote jolts PDP in MLC election
BJP's Randhawa wins after PDP-BJP tie at 29 Votes
4/17/2017 11:34:22 PM
Asif Iqbal Naik
Early Times Report
Jammu, April 17: After suffering defeat at the hands of National Conference in Parliamentary by-elections on Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, the ruling Peoples' Democratic party (PDP) today suffered another defeat on one of the two MLC seats of Jammu Division after an MLA from Ladakh cross voted in favour of alliance partner Bhartiya Janta Party as a result of which both BJP and PDP candidate ended up at tie with 29 votes each.
As per the details available with "Early Times", the notification of election for six MLC seat falling vacant today was issued last month on 15-3-2017, out of which four candidates namely Yasir Reshi of PDP, Aga Syed Mehmood of National Conference , Ashok Kumar Bhat of BJP were declared winner as unopposed along with Pradeep Sharma of BJP (District Poonch reserve) as a result of which the election for two seats of Jammu province was necessitated for which three candidates namely Balbir Singh of Congress, Abdul Qayoom Dar of PDP and Vikram Singh Randhawa were in fray.
As per the agreement between the BJP and the PDP, the PDP candidate was certain to get 30 votes for victory and the same seat was declared as safe while on other seat the BJP candidate would have to bank on the independent votes.
As soon as the voting began for two seats of Jammu province, the reports of cross voting started emanating, beside there were also rumors that MLA Langate Engineer Rashid might prefer to abstain in the voting along with MLA Udhampur Pawan Gupta, but the speculation with regard to both the independent MLAs ended minutes before the closing of voting time when both the MLAs arrived in Civil Secretariat to cast their votes.
After concluding the voting process, the counting of the votes began under the supervision of Secretary Legislative Assembly Mohammad Ramzan and soon the surprising result with regard to victory of Balbir Singh, a joint candidate of Congress and National conference came out-that too with many surprises as against the total votes 27, the Congress-NC candidate Singh manage to get 31 vote which was much beyond the expectations of both the parties as out of five Independent MLAs, four MLAs Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami (CPM), Hakim Mohammad Yasin, Engineer Abdul Rashid and Pawan Gupta voted for Congress-NC candidate. Gupta was MoS Finance in Mufti Mohammad Syed Government and was dropped from the council of Ministers after Mehbooba Mufti took over the reign of BJP-PDP government in the state.
After declaring Congress-NC candidate Balbir Singh a winner, there was another surprise which didn't go well with the ruling PDP as one of their ally, Aga Bakir Rizvi an Independent MLA enjoying MoS Status in PDP Quota as head of a board cross voted in favour of BJP candidate leaving Abdul Qayoom Dar and Vikram Singh Randawa in a tie with 29 vote each.
Following the legal course of action, the final winner was decided on the basis of the lot in which BJP's Vikram Singh Randhawa was declared as winner.
The Upper House has total strength of 36 but presently it is 34 in view of two vacancies due to non-holding of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections. The ULBs send two representatives to the Legislative Council.
While talking to media persons, JKPCC President Ghulam Ahmed Mir expresses his gratitude to all the four independent MLAs who voted for the joint party candidates added that victory of Congress Candidate is the victory of secular forces.
BJP MLC Vikram Randhawa also extended his gratitude to party leadership and dedicated his victory to the trust, support and confidence showed by the party towards him.
Reacting to the cross voting by Aga Bakir Rizvi in favour of BJP Candidate, senior PDP leader said that the MLA chose to vote against the party after he was refused a ministerial birth by the party President and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
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