Five out of the seven former ministers who contested the DDC elections have won, while two belonging to the BJP couldn’t secure victory. Senior Congress leader and former minister Taj Mohiuddin was contesting on Parenpillan constituency of Uri tehsil in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. He won the seat with a lead of 1,596 votes. Taj held many terms as minister and MLA. He got 9,741 votes against the Peoples Conference (PC) leader Shaukat Ali Khan, who polled 4,451 votes in the first-ever District Development Council (DDC) election.
Mohiuddin, the 72-year-old leader who is facing CBI probe into the Roshi land scam, contested against Khan. He was endorsed by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). Taj has represented Uri thrice as MLA. He has acted as a cabinet minister in the governments of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Omar Abdullah.
NC leader and former minister Abdul Gani contested the election from Mahore seat in Reasi district. He won the election by 351 votes. He received 4,833 votes and defeated independent candidate Shafi-ur-Rehman, who polled 4,482 votes. Gani has been an MLA and a former minister in the Omar Abdullah government.
Former Minister and senior NC leader, Jagjeevan Lal secured the Reasi seat by defeating BJP’s Chaman Lal by 237 votes. Lal got 4,507 votes against Lal’s 4270.
Former Congress minister and veteran Gujjar leader Ajaz Ahmed Khan contested from the J&K Apni Party. He secured victory in the DDC election from Thuroo segment of Reasi district by 1,578 votes. Ajaz Khan got 4,904 votes, while Mohmmad Ashraf of the NC received 3,326 votes. Ajaj Khan has twice been elected MLA and was a minister in the NC-Congress government.
Shabir Ahmed Khan is a veteran Pahari leader and former Congress minister. He won the Manjakote seat in Rajouri district with a lead of 3,394 votes as he got 8,714 votes against Shafat Khan, who got 5,320 votes. Shabir Khan held a ministry in the NC-Congress government led Omar Abdullah.
Former BJP ministers Shakti Raj Parihar and Sham Lal Choudhary lost their seat from Doda and Jammu districts. Choudhary lost his election by 11 votes in Suchetgarh constituency of Jammu district. According to the officials, this is the “smallest” margin so far in the DDC polls. Choudhary got 12,958 votes against independent candidate Taranjit Singh, who received 12,969 votes. He has served as a cabinet minister in the BJP-PDP coalition government in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Shakti Raj Parihar, another former minister of the BJP, lost both the seats he contested from Gundna and Marmat segments of Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district. NC candidate Asim Hashmi defeated Parihar by 1,336 votes. Hashmi got 7,835 votes, while Parihar received only 6,499. Parihar was defeated on the Marmat seat by 1,330 votes as he got 7,033 votes against Congress candidate Mushtaq Ahmed, who received 8,363 votes.
Parihar has also served as the vice president of BJP’s J&K unit, and is considered to be an important player in the region. He was also a minister in the BJP-PDP government.