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Lobbying begins as 8 LC seats fall vacant shortly
SRINAGAR, Feb 2: Hectic lobbying has begun among the leaders of political parties to get a berth in the Legislative Council (LC) as eight seats are falling vacant shortly.

The term of Devinder Singh Rana, Mohammad Yousuf Taing, R S Chib, Naresh Gupta, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Haji Ali Mohammad Bhat, Murtaza Ahmad Khan and Choudhary Nizam-ud-Din Khatana is coming to an end.

Out of the eight vacancies, four belong to Kashmir region, presently held by Mohammad Yousuf Taing, Amin Bhat, Ali Bhat and Nizam-ul-Din Khatana and three to Jammu region and held by R S Chib, Devinder Singh Rana and Murtaza Khan. One seat held by Naresh Gupta of Congress is reserved for Doda district.

Sources told Kashmir Times that election authorities are likely to hold the elections for eight vacancies at the end of February or in the beginning of March when the state legislature would be in session.

The assembly secretariat has also written to Election Commission of India about the names of the council members whose term is expiring and the commission will announce the election date any time.

As per the party strength in the legislative assembly National Conference-Congress coalition can get three seats each while main opposition party PDP can get one seat.

The PDP has 21 MLAs, the National Conference 28, Congress 18, BJP four, NPP three and BJP rebels seven, CPI-M one, DPN one, JSM one and independents three. One council seat reserved for Doda district is also likely to be bagged by the NC-Congress coalition.

In the upper house, there are only five council members from the opposition including four from PDP and one from NPP. Three of them belong to National Conference-Congress coalition.

Sources said that leaders of National Conference, Congress and various other political leaders have started lobbying to ensure their berth in the council.

However, the sources said that few among the outgoing members in the National Conference and Congress can retain their berth in the council.

The total strength in the legislative council is 36 members. However, present strength of the house is 34 as two seats, reserved for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), are vacant in absence of elected bodies of the municipalities.
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News Updated at : Saturday, February 2, 2013
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