Former bureaucrats among 17 to contest Kashmir upper house polls (Lead)

February 24th, 2009 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Feb 24 (IANS) Two former bureaucrats are among 17 candidates in the fray for the March 7 elections to the Jammu and Kashmir legislative council, or upper house, for which the last day for filing nominations was Tuesday.
Seventeen candidates filed their nominations papers for the elections to the 11 vacant seats in the legislative council, an official said.

The ruling coalition partners - the Congress and the National Conference - have fielded B.R. Kundal and Vijay Bakaya, respectively, among their candidates for the elections.

Kundal and Bakaya were chief secretaries in the coalition government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress that ruled the state from 2002 to 2008.

The National Conference has fielded six candidates and the Congress five.

The political parties have also fielded candidates who lost the November-December 2008 state assembly elections.

Among others fighting on the Congress ticket is former minister Khem Lata Wakhloo. She had lost the assembly poll from Srinagar’s Sonwar constituency to former chief minister Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference.

The National Conference has fielded two former ministers Ajat Shatru Singh, scion of the Dogra royal family in Jammu, and former home minister Khalid Najib Suharwardy. Singh and Suharwardy also lost the 2008 assembly polls.

The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party has fielded four candidates while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have named one each.

The PDP has fielded defeated candidate Asghar Ali, who lost the assembly polls from the Kishtwar constituency.

Shamsher Singh of the BJP also filed his nomination papers for the council polls.

The scrutiny of the nominations will be held Wednesday, while the last day of withdrawal of nominations is Friday.

The elections, if necessary, would be held March 7, said the official.

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