For video click: https://youtu.be/nY8gve7-HX4
Jammu, December 15: Ahead of the 7th phase of the maiden District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP leader and ex-Udhampur MLA Pawan Gupta has landed in trouble with Returning Officer for Tikri and Udhampur-II District Development Council constituencies issuing him a notice seeking his reply to a complaint for violation of model code of conduct.
This followed a letter from Additional Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar who also happens to be Nodal Officer for Model Code of Conduct, Udhampur district, on Monday, asking the Returning Officer to verify the complaint and “take immediate appropriate action’’ under the DDC Elections 2020 guidelines/instructions to his office. In his letter, the Nodal Officer pointed out that the complaint along with video clip lodged by “Krishan Singh (office secretary)’’ against ex-MLA and ex-MoS against Pawan Kumar Gupta which is “self-explanatory’’.
Returning Officer Akhtar Qazi when contacted said that a notice has been issued to Gupta seeking a reply from him. Pawan Gupta, however, said that he was yet to see the notice as he had been busy with the campaigning.
The complaint had followed a viral video on social media showing BJP leader Pawan Gupta making people to swear on oath that they will vote for BJP candidates and that they will make their family members, relatives and friends also to follow the suit.
Both Udhampur-II and Tikri are among 31 DDC constituencies which are going to polls on Wednesday during the 7th phase across Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, sources said that both BJP and Panthers Party, who are engaged in a bitter fight against each other during the ongoing DDC polls in Udhampur district, have lodged complaints against each other with the Election Commission.
Meanwhile, UT’s State Election Commissioner K K Sharma said that of the 31 DDC constituencies going to polls on Wednesday, 13 fall in Kashmir division and 18 in Jammu. While there are 148 candidates including 34 females in the fray in 13 DDC constituencies in Kashmir, there are 150 contestants including 38 females in 18 constituencies across Jammu.
A total of 6.87 lakh electors will decide the fate of 298 candidates in all 31 DDC constituencies, he said, adding 1852 polling stations have been set up across the UT including 1068 in Kashmir division and 784 in Jammu.
Apart from DDC polls, by-elections are also being held for a total of 117 sarpanch and 1270 panch vacancies on Wednesday. However, of them, polling will be held for only 58 per cent of the sarpanch and 34 per cent panch vacancies.
Giving details, sources said that polling will be held for 69 sarpanch vacancies across the UT tomorrow as candidates at 30 places stand elected unopposed. However, there are no contestants for remaining 18 vacancies.
Similarly, of the 1270 panch vacancies notified for 7th phase, only 438 will go to polls. While 316 vacancies already stand filled up by candidates without any contest, no one has filed nomination papers for the remaining 416 seats, sources said.