DDC chairpersons protocol made equivalent to Mayors in J&K

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Jammu : Yielding to the pressure of protesting District Development Council (DDC) members, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday amended its protocol order of precedence putting them equivalent toMayor and above the UT MPs and Chief Secretary.

The latest government order has placed the DDC chairpersons as equivalent to mayors at serial number 19A in the amended warrant of precedence.

“In supersession of all previous orders issued on the subject, it is hereby ordered that the Warrant of Precedence forming Annexure to this Government Order shall be observed at all ceremonial functions/occasions of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” the order said.

Similarly, the DDC vice-chairpersons have been placed at serial number 26 equivalent to administrative secretaries and divisional commissioners, IGPs, chief conservator of forests, joint secretaries to the government of India and officers of equivalent rank and officers of the rank of Major General or equivalent rank within their respective jurisdictions

As per the order, DDC members have been placed at serial number 28 and equivalent to District Magistrates, officers of the rank of Brigadiers and equivalent, major heads of department, conservator of forests and district & session Judges.

In the earlier order issued in March, the administration had placed the DDC chairpersons equal to administrative secretaries at serial No 26. The deputy chairpersons had been placed at number 27, with protocol equivalent to vice-chancellors of universities within the Union Territory (UT), while the members had been granted protocol equivalent to the block development council chairpersons or presidents of municipal councils and they figured at serial number 28.

However, immediately after the issuance of the previous order, the newly-elected members of the DDCs had on March 9 staged protests against what they said was a “humiliating and insulting” protocol announced for them. In a rare show of unity, the DDC members from various political backgrounds, protested together and it was only after he assurances by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha that they called off the protest.