Oldest Institution Getting New Leaders

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As scores of traders queued up outside the office of Kashmir Chamber, Tasavur Mushtaq visited the spot to cover Kashmir’s oldest institutions latest exercise to have its new leadership.

KCC&I Team

Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) – valleys oldest and apex body of trade, commerce and industries went to polls on Monday (November 14, 2011). The polling held in the office of the chamber was to elect the executive committee of nineteen members for the year 2011-2012.

Polling started at 11:00 am continued till 5.00 pm and was conducted peacefully. The process of election was supervised by a sub-committee set up by the KCCI. The members in the committee were Muhammad Ibrahim Shahdad, Nazir Ahmad Wani, and Muhammad Ayub. Besides officials from Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd and SIDCO were present as scrutinizers of the entire process.

“The election was conducted in a democratic way and according to the constitutional obligations,” said secretary general Altaf Ahmad Trumboo.

The participation in the election was highest for the first time around 77.9 percent. “Among 771 members, 600 cast their votes,” senior vice president of KCCI, Abdul Hamid Punjabi told Kashmir Life. The number of candidates in election fray which is 40 is also a record this year. The reason cited by officials for greater participation was the better functioning of the chamber from last few years. “This shows that people want to be part of the system as they witnessed the good work,” said Nazir.

The distinction of this year’s election was that there were parallel factions contesting, both having equal members in the fray. One group of the participants is headed by the senior vice president of the chamber Abdul Hamid Punjabi and the other by the Nasir Hamid Khan.  The participants were happy the way election was held.

Terming it as the success the head of the dissenting group Nasir Hamid Khan said, “It really was good. First time two records were broken, one of voter turnout and other of members in election fray. Khan cites reason of dissatisfaction among the members for the greater participation this year. “We have given members a different option to chose, this is why we had huge participation which is record in the history of chamber,” says Khan.

The dissenting group which has participated in the entire process this year has plans to do things which they believe the previous regimes have failed to do so.

The results of today’s polling will be declared on November 21,  2011, which will define the future course of action.

The elections were earlier scheduled on 22 October, 2011 but were delayed. The reason for delay was that one of the members had gone to court and got stay order. The order was latter vacated.

What was remarkable of the exercise was that there were long queues of voters who waited for their turn for a long time. The processes involved in the polling are quite tough and every voters has to be identified properly before he or she gets the right to cast the vote. The building was hugely crowded for most of the day and the police had deployed enough of the cops to ensure there are no problems. The exercise was indicative of Kashmir’s oldest institution – much older J&K Bank – trying its best to inculcate democracy among its membership.

The results of the exercise will be made public in the general meeting of the body and those elected will appoint the president and other office bearers.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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