DDC members call off protest on LG’s invitation

DDC members call off protest on LG’s invitation

Srinagar, Mar 10:The newly-elected  District Development Council (DDC) members on Wednesday called off their two-day long protest after receiving an invitation from Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for a meeting on March 12.The DDC members from BJP, NC, PDP, Congress, PC and other parties had on Tuesday staged protests outside the convention centre at Jammu against the government’s amended warrant of precedence on their honorarium and protocol terming it “humiliating”On Wednesday also, the DDC members assembled outside Press Club Jammu and held a protest to oppose the government order.The protesting DDC members demanded that the district DDC chairpersons be provided with a rank equivalent to that of a cabinet minister, DDC vice-chairman a rank of minister of state and councillors be placed at par with the member of legislative assembly (MLA).Talking to Rising Kashmir, DDC chairperson from Baramulla Safina Baig said they have received the invitation from the LG  for a meeting on Friday on the matter.”We have called off the protest. I am optimistic that the LG will listen to our genuine demands and resolve the issue amicably,” Baig said. “It is of paramount importance to have a strong grass root level democracy for the development of Jammu and Kashmir.”The government on Monday amended its warrant of precedence and placed chairpersons of the DDC equivalent to administrative secretaries, divisional commissioners and Inspector of General of Police (IGPs). Similarly, vice-chairpersons were made equivalent to the vice-chancellors of universities.The DDC members were placed at the bottom of the list along with block development council chairpersons, presidents of municipal councils and municipalities, district magistrates, officers of the rank of brigadier and equivalent, major head of departments, district and sessions judges.The government also finalised honorarium for chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and members of the district development councils. The chairperson will get an honorarium of Rs 35000 per month while the vice-chairperson and member would respectively get Rs 25000 and Rs 15000.The DDC elections were held in eight phases and the month-long exercise ended in December, last year. The Election Commission had recorded 51 per cent voting.

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