A homemaker, an advocate, a former teacher and a sarpanch, who trounced political heavyweights in the just concluded maiden District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir, are some of the new faces among the 278 elected candidates who will take oath at their respective district headquarters on Monday. A look at some of them:
Shazia Kousar (Independent): A postgraduate in Microbiology, she resigned as a government teacher to contest elections in Budhal Old-A constituency.
She polled 7,982 votes, defeating her nearest rival Shaheen Akhtar (NC) by 2,446 votes and relegating her aunt Zubeda Begum and JKAP candidate to third place. Zubeda is the wife of a former minister and two-time PDP MLA Zulfikar Choudhary who joined Jammu Kashmir Apni Party.
Iqbal Malik (BJP): A former bureaucrat, he won the polls from Rajouri district’s Darhal constituency, defeating NC’s Parvez Rashid by 3,748 votes. Significantly, as a BJP candidate, he polled 11,481 votes in an area which has only one Hindu family.
Taranjit Singh (Independent): A social worker, he defeated BJP’s former minister and former legislator Sham Lal Choudhary in Suchetgarh by a margin of 11 votes.
Asim Hasmi (NC): An advocate by profession, he defeated BJP’s former minister Shakti Raj Parihar in Doda district’s Gundna constituency by 1,336 votes.
As NC candidate, he polled 7,835 votes against Parihar’s 6,499 in a Hindu-dominated constituency.
Kumari Shaveta (BJP): Married nearly six months ago to a school teacher, she polled 7,717 votes, defeating former MLA Kanta Andotra by 1,675 votes in Kathua district’s Keerian Gandyal constituency. The latter is the wife of former minister and founder of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, Choudhary Lal Singh, a three-time MLA and two-time Lok Sabha MP.
Mohammad Ashfaq (Independent): A contractor, he defeated NC’s Zeeshan Javed Rana, son of two-time MLA and one- time MLC Javed Rana, in Mendhar-C constituency by 2,105 votes.