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DDC results: Former BJP minister loses by 11 votes to candidate protesting farm laws

Jammu: Former BJP minister Sham Lal Choudhary lost by a razor-thin margin of 11 votes in Suchetgarh constituency of Jammu district in the first District Development Council (DDC) election, officials said on Wednesday.

The Gupkar alliance led by Farooq Abdullah was leading the tally by winning over 110 out of 280 seats on Wednesday, followed by the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, bagging 74 seats, including three in the Kashmir Valley for the first time.

In Jammu, the BJP won 11 seats, followed by independent candidates who got two seats, while one seat went into the kitty of the National Conference (NC).

According to the figures provided by the state election authority (SEA), Sham Lal Choudhary polled 12,958 votes against independent candidate Taranjit Singh, who polled 12,969 votes in Suchetgarh segment of Jammu district.

Sham Lal Choudhary was a cabinet minister in the BJP-PDP coalition government.

He won assembly elections from Suchetgarh in 2014 and 2008 and is considered to be a powerful leader in the border belt of R S Pura.

Taranjit  Singh, a former NC youth leader, contested the DDC polls as an Independent and sloganeered against three new farm laws enacted by the BJP-led central government. It garnered farmers’ support in the Suchetgarh-RS Pura border belt, which is called home of the farming community in the Jammu division as the area is known for its Basmati rice.