8 new MLCs administered oath

Sohail Punjabi

Jammu : The two sons of senior Congress leader Karan Singh, of the royal Dogra family, were among the eight new members of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council who took oath of the House Friday.
Acting Chairman, J&K Legislative Council, Jehangir Hussain Mir today administered oath to the eight newly nominated members which include Zafar Iqbal Manhas (PDP), Ashok Khajuria (BJP), Vikramditya Singh (PDP), Romesh Arora (BJP), Saif-ud-Din Bhat (PDP), Ajatshatru Singh (BJP), Khurshid Alam (PDP) and Surinder Mohan Ambardar (BJP).
Later, the Chairman welcomed the members.
Ajatshatru Singh (BJP) and Vikramaditya Singh (PDP) are the sons of Karan Singh.
With the nomination of the eight more members, the strength of the state Legislative Council (LC) has gone up to 34.
As per the notification issued by Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Governor N N Vohra, exercising the powers vested in him under Sub-section (6) of Section 50 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, yesterday nominated them as new members to the Upper House of Jammu and Kashmir’s bicameral Legislature.
Ashok Khajuria, who has been a two-time MLA, did not contest election in 2014 Assembly polls and Arora, a senior BJP leader, is a staunch RSS activist and social worker.
Ambardar, who belongs to Baramulla town of North Kashmir, has worked in Kashmir for past over a decade for the enhancement of the peace and normalcy of the constituency.
Nicknamed as ‘Bharati’, Ambardar, who is also a staunch RSS activist, took premature retirement as an officer in state Agriculture Department to join BJP and eventually entered the Upper House of state Legislature.
He has played a vital role in bringing separatist-turned-Minister Sajjad Lone to BJP fold and also in 2014 Assembly elections for BJP.
Ambardar, who arrived at LC in Kashmiri Pandit’s traditional cream colour ‘Pheran’ and ‘headgear’ along with traditionally dressed wife, took oath in Kashmiri language after beginning with ‘Om Namah Shivay’ in the House.
The total strength of the Council is 36. However, two vacancies fall under the category of Urban Local Bodies, election for which could not be held for the last ten years.
In the 34-member house, 11 members belong to PDP, 8 to BJP and NC each and 7 to the Congress.