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Underrepresented in assembly, women winners take centre stage in J&K DDC polls

Srinagar: Underrepresented in the erstwhile J&K state assembly, around four dozen women candidates from Kashmir have emerged victorious in the recent District Development Council (DDC) elections.

As 33 per cent seats had been reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and women for the DDC polls after the Jammu and Kashmir administration amended the Panchayati Raj rules, the winning candidates are now looking forward to living up to the expectations of voters. They say addressing day-to-day problems will be their priority.

“It is the victory of every mother and sister who came out and voted for me. My priority will be to improve the condition of roads in my constituency. All roads here are in ramshackle condition. A new car starts looking old after a few rounds on these roads,” said Parmeet Kaur, who emerged victorious from Rafiabad in North Kashmir.

Stating that the people “can come to me anytime with their problems related to roads, electricity and other basic problems”, Kaur said: “I will also personally go out and meet people and work towards addressing their issues.”

Kaur was among the three Sikh candidates who emerged victorious in the DDC polls.

Insha Showket from Chadoora in Central Kashmir said her victory was the “victory of people”.

“I thank all those who voted for me and even those who did not vote in my favour. It is the victory of the people of Chadoora. The real success will come when I live up to the expectations of the people,” she said.

Several women candidates said that they had received a lot of support from the male members of their families.

“I am very happy that the people supported me. My brother worked hard (during campaign). My first priority will be water. I also want to work for the poor and bring to the notice of government problems faced by the people here,” said Farwah Ibrahim, winning candidate from Nowgam in North Kashmir’s Bandipur district.

Around 450 women candidates were in fray for the maiden DDC polls that happened to be the first major electoral exercise in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year.