The Congress and the National Conference alliance comprehensively defeated the BJP in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council elections in Kargil, in the first-ever poll held in J&K after scrapping of Article 370 in 2019. Out of the 26 seats, Congress won 10 seats and National Conference 12, emerging as the single-largest party. The BJP only won 2 and the rest two seats went to an Independent candidate.
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said it’s heartening to see secular parties win in Kargil. PDP did not contest the election. “Heartening to see secular parties like NC and Congress register their victory in Kargil. It’s the first election post-2019 and the people of Ladakh have spoken,” Mehbooba Mufti posted.
About 65 per cent of voters turned up in the district as per the cumulative figure of 3rd round of voting for the 5th LAHDC elections.
Earlier last month, the Ladakh administration announced a new schedule for elections to the fifth LAHDC in the Kargil region, following a directive by the Supreme Court.
This notification came after the Supreme Court, while restoring the National Conference’s party symbol, also set aside the Union Territory administration’s previous election notification since National Conference candidates had not been able to file nominations. As per the notification, elections to 26 seats of the 30-member LAHDC were held on October 4.
The existing council is headed by the NC’s Feroz Ahmad Khan. The Congress joined hands with the NC before the election and fielded 22 candidates. NC fielded 17. Both parties said the arrangement was restricted to areas where there was a tough contest with the BJP.
The BJP, which won one seat in the last election and later took its tally to three with the joining of two PDP councillors, had fielded 17 candidates this time. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) tried its luck on four seats while 25 Independents were also in the fray.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah congratulated the people of Ladakh for the result and said this should be a wake-up call for the BJP. “It is time to cease hiding behind the Raj Bhawan and unelected representatives and, instead, acknowledge the people’s rightful desire for a democratically elected government in Jammu and Kashmir. Democracy demands the voices of the people be heard and respected,” Omar tweeted.
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