For the first time in Kashmir’s media history, an election was held for constituting apex body of Kashmir Press Club (Aiwan-e-Sahafat) on Monday.
The exercise, which started at 9 am today and ended at 5 pm, saw journalists participating with enthusiasm to elect the first ever body for Kashmir Press Club (KPC).
Senior journalist Shuja-ul-Haq was elected as the KPC President. He won by a narrow margin of one vote defeating his nearest rival and senior journalist Haroon Rashid Shah, who along with Zulfikar Majid was in the fray for Presidential post.
After day-long voting held in KPC premises at Polo View here, the much-awaited results were declared late in the evening in presence of dozens of KPC members and Valley-based journalists.
While Haq received 92 votes, the runner-up Rashid got 91 votes of the total 231 votes polled. With 130 votes Moazum Mohammad was elected as Vice-President of the body while Ishfaq Tantray, with 102 votes, was elected its General Secretary. With 178 votes, Farooq Javed Khan was elected as Treasurer of the KPC.
Of the 11 executive members, seven were elected during Monday’s election which includes senior photo journalist Habib Naqash who got 150 votes; journalist Arshid Shah got 122 votes; senior journalist and editor Shafat Kirra secured 105 votes; Greater Kashmir journalist Altaf Baba bagged 86 votes, senior photo journalist Nisar Ahmad Bhat got 122 votes while as journalist Gowhar Geelani and Auqib Javaid got 106 and 99 votes respectively, as executive KPC members.
The remaining four executive members shall be nominated soon. The KPC, which saw a lot of hustle and bustle throughout the day, witnessed members of journalism fraternity waiting anxiously for the results till late evening.
The voting began at 9 am and concluded at 5 pm with 92 per cent votes cast by the KPC members, said a member of the election commission overseeing the voting process. He hailed the members for turning up to vote and elect the apex body.
The enthusiasm during the entire voting process remained upbeat. To mention, during the hectic campaigning of the election for KPC during last few weeks, prospective candidates have been making several promises such as working towards implementation of welfare measures for Kashmir-based journalist fraternity.
Several candidates had also put to fore that if elected they will work for “institution of journalism in the Valley”. The election commission for the KPC elections had neutral observers which included two senior Bar Association members.
Pertinently, Kashmir got first-ever Press Club in 2018 which has eventually become a hub of activities for Valley-based journalists.
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