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Cabinet reshuffle: Power went to BJP man who studied up to class 12; 10th pass PDP member got Agri

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Srinagar, May 01: The ruling coalition has granted two major cabinet berths to the politicians who have barely completed intermediate level of education, with one of them reportedly having a criminal record.
In the cabinet reshuffle executed on Monday, BJP’s Sunil Sharma, who represents Kishtwar constituency, has been given the portfolio of Power Development.
Sharma, as per his pre-election declaration, had completed his class 12 and had been “pursing graduation from IGNOU”.
Earlier the Minister of State (MoS) for Transport, he now owns the responsibility of a major sector, which involves tussle between the state and New Delhi over exploitation of the former’s water resources.
Sharma replaced Dr Nirmal Singh, the ex-deputy CM, who was a doctorate in History and taught the subject as a professor in Jammu University.
A report published by Indian Express in 2016 claimed that prior to being an MLA, Sharma’s name was “recorded in an FIR (no. 133/08) registered at Kishtwar police station as a member of the group that had allegedly attacked people from the other community, killing two persons and leaving several others injured during the communal clashes in Kishtwar in 2008.”
As a minister, his orders would be passed on to Commissioner Secretary for Power and 24 Chief and Superintending engineers.
Another politician who got a Cabinet berth in spite of his low academic achievements is PDP’s Khalid Bandh.
Bandh, as per his declared profile, has only studied up to class 10. His profile reads he is a “social activist” with assets worth “Rs 1.93 crore”.
He is now the Minister for Agriculture Production, a portfolio which was earlier headed by Ghulam Nabi Lone, a lawyer by profession.
Agriculture too is a complex ministry in J&K, with as many as nine major sponsored-schemes being simultaneously implemented in the state.
Among those reporting to Bandh would be senior KAS officers and Commissioner Secretary Agriculture.


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LIVE | JK LS Election Results: Hasnain leading from Anantnag,Farooq leading from Srinagar, Akbar Lone from Baramulla

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Jammu & Kashmir-Srinagar till 12:26

Farooq Abdullah  JKN     73707
Aga Syed Mohsin       PDP  23958
Irfan Raza Ansari  JPC17692

Jammu & Kashmir-Baramulla till 12:24

MOHAMMAD AKBAR LONE         JKN        89932   

 

RAJA AIJAZ ALI  JPC                                     74145       

ENGINEER RASHID           IND                      72720

ABDUL QAYOOM WANI                     JKPDP              39430   

Jammu & Kashmir-Anantnag till 12:22

HASNAIN MASOODI       JKN        26643   

GHULAM AHMAD MIR  INC         22787

MEHBOOBA MUFTI         JKPDP   18474

NC’s Hasnain Masoodi leading from Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency

Farooq Abdullah leading from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency

Akbar Lone leading from Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency

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Counting of votes today: Candidates wait with bated breath for results in JK

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, May 22: Candidates are on the edge as the countdown for the counting of votes for the six Lok Sabha seats started in Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 104 candidates are in the fray for six-Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir for which results would be declared on Thursday.

Ahead of poll results, the candidates of political parties are getting jitters about the results.

 

While many of them are devoting their time in prayers, some of them are on the vacation to beat the election stress.

BJP candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Khalid Jehangir has gone to Russia after the elections. “We have been praying for Khalid’s success,” an associate of Khalid, said.

Before the elections, Khalid visited the shrine of the highly revered 14th century Muslim Saint, Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA), also known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir.

National Conference President and party’s candidate for Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah has been regularly visiting Hazratbal shrine for Friday prayers since the poll process began.

“He is very particular for Salah and has been praying for his success. For last several weeks, he has been offering Friday prayers at the Hazratbal shrine and pleading for his success,” a National Conference leader, said.

National Conference, General Secretary, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said, they were hopeful of winning all three seats of Kashmir. “We pray for party’s candidates,” he added.

PDP President and party’s candidate for south Kashmir Parliamentary constituency, Mehbooba Mufti is camping in New Delhi. The low voter turnout in south Kashmir has become a cause of concern for the PDP.

“She may return by Wednesday evening,” PDP Chief Spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir, said.

Asked whether Mehbooba would visit her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s grave like she did in 2016 when she emerged winner in by-polls of Anantnag assembly segment, he said, “She is not here. But we are hopeful of her success.”

National Conference candidate for north Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency, Mohammad Akbar Lone has been praying for his success. “I need prayers from one everyone. I will emerge winner. I visit every spiritual place,” Lone said.

National Conference’s candidate for south Kashmir retired High Court judge Justice Hasnian Masoodi said he contested the elections with “sincerity”.

“Everything is at the hands of Allah. I hope by Allah’s grace, will win the elections,” Masoodi added.

Meanwhile, all arrangements have been made for the smooth counting of votes recorded in the Electronic Voting Machines. In Srinagar, the counting would take place at SKICC Srinagar.

The Election Commission of India has set up 10 counting centres including two for Ladakh segment, three for Kashmiri migrants and one each for rest of the five Parliamentary constituencies.

At least 55 special observers have also been deployed for counting of votes. Declaration of final results in Jammu and Kashmir, like other Parliamentary seats across the country, can be slightly delayed this time due to increase in tallying VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial) slips with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) from every Assembly segment.

There have been a total number of 75,400 Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots of Service Voters this time.

Three-tier security at counting centres in Kashmir

Srinagar, May 22: Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Jammu and Kashmir for counting of votes tomorrow for six Lok Sabha seats.

One of the top government officials told KNS that security personnel including central reserve police forces (CRPF) and state police will be deployed tomorrow in all the counting centres for ensuring smooth and violence-free counting. “There will be a three tier security cordon in the vicinity of the counting centers. The first line of security manned by the Security forces will be located almost 100 meters from the concerned counting premises. The second line of security will be around the counting premises and the third line of security personnel will be deployed inside the counting halls. The counting centers will follow three-tier cordoning system,” the official maintained wished not to be named.

Giving details about arrangements being made for counting, official further said that 10 counting centers have been established in the state.

While there will be one counting center each for Baramulla, Anantnag, Srinagar, Jammu and Udhmapur parliamentary seats, two centers have been established for Ladakh segment, one each in Kargil and Leh.

Apart from them, three centers have also been established for counting of migrant votes at Udhampur, Jammu and New Delhi.

They said that 90 counting halls have been set up in these centers. “There will be 896 counting tables in these halls,”

Sources said that no person other than candidates, their election counting agents, public servants on election duty or persons authorized by Election Commission would be permitted to enter counting centers. Counting will be done simultaneously for all the six seats Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Anantnag, Baramullah and Ladakh.

Sources said that to avoid any untoward incidents prohibitory orders under section 144 of Cr. P.C. will be also been enforced at the counting centers.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shalindera Kumar said, “As per the ECI guidelines, all arrangements have been made for the Counting Day,”

Sources said that the whole process will be monitored by General Observers and each of them will be accompanied by Micro observers.

The outcome of the six Lok Sabha seats is being keenly watched in J&K as it is considered as “semi-final” before the Assembly polls. (KNS)

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Two Hizb militants killed in Kulgam gunfight

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Srinagar, May 22: Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were Wednesday killed in a pre-dawn encounter at Gopalpora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The gunfight as per police officials broke out after a cordon and Search Operation was launched in the village following credible inputs about the presence of militants there.

Police said during the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter.

 

In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They identified the slain militant as Irfan Manzoor Bhat of Poniwah Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo of Ferripora Shopian.

Police said both the slain militants were affiliated with HM.

Police said that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered and all these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, police said.

Moreover, police urged people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any,” police said.

Army soldier killed, 7 others injured in Poonch accidental blast

Poonch, May 22:  Army on Wednesday said that a soldier was killed and seven others sustained minor injuries during training on the Line of Control in Mendhar sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.

“On 22 May 2019 at 0915 hours, during a training activity on a military post in Mendhar Sector, one soldier was critically injured who later succumbed to his injuries. Two more soldiers who suffered non grevious injuries have been evacuated to the nearest Military Hospital and are stable,” said defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand.

The injured was flown in a helicopter to Northern Command’s hospital at Udhampur.

Official sources said soldiers of the Barasingha Battalion of the 12 Madras regiment were on a patrol in Dera Dibsi area along the hilly LoC when the incident occurred around 10.45am.

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