Kargil, Oct. 8: The National Conference (NC) won 12 seats in the polls for the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)-Kargil, placing it in first place overall. Congress came in second with 10 members.
In addition to independent candidates winning two seats, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) also succeeded in doing so.
The government made significant preparations, including security precautions, and the counting of the ballots began early on Sunday morning and continued until late in the evening.
The NC-Congress coalition is poised to win LAHDC, Kargil, after dominating the elections there.
According to a senior official, NC won 12 seats, Congress won 10, the BJP won 2, and independent candidates won 2.
He said that with the assistance of the District Election Authority, the Kargil Police, and other involved authorities, the election process was completed in an orderly and transparent manner.
On October 4, Ladakh UT conducted elections for the 26 seats in the LAHDC-Kargil.
For the BJP, NC, and Congress, a lot was on the line in this election.
Out of the total 95,388 voters, 74,026 exercised their right to vote, resulting in a 77.61 percent turnout.
Political analysts said that the election results captured the public’s sentiment over the BJP-led government’s decision to award Ladakh, which includes the districts of Leh and Kargil, the status of a Union Territory (UT) in 2019.
Ladakh is now an unassembled Union Territory.
The first municipal election in Ladakh since the area became a union territory distinct from Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 received major interest, and it was held under strict security measures.
With victories in the seats of Rambirpoa, Pashkum, Choskore, Chiktan, Taisuru, Baroo, Parkachik, Karsha, and Shakar, the Congress’ outstanding performance is particularly remarkable.
While this was happening, NC won in the seats of Bhimbat, Padum, Thasgam, Yourbaltak, Kargil town, Thasgaam Thuiana, Silmoo, Thangdumbur, Poyen, Lankerchey, Chiliskambu, Trespone, and Saliskut.
While two independent candidates won in the Barsoo and Gund Mangalpur elections, the BJP hailed its victory in the Stakchay Khangral and Cha constituencies.
The BJP had only been able to win one seat in the last LAHDC-Kargil elections, so its two-seat victory this time is noteworthy.
Despite announcing pre-election cooperation, NC and Congress put forward 17 and 22 candidates, respectively, in a major political shift.
Both parties claimed that the agreement was only applicable to regions where the BJP was a formidable opponent.
The NC-Congress is also a part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).
The BJP ran 17 candidates this time around, up from the last election when it won one seat and eventually added two PDP councillors to bring its total to three.
Attempting to win four seats, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) faced competition from 25 independent candidates. This time, a large number of young people participated in the election and won.
In 278 polling locations around the district, electronic voting machines (EVMs) were utilised for the first time during the council elections.
The elections to LAHDC-Kargil were rescheduled from September 10 to October 4 on the directions of the Supreme Court, which took serious note of the Ladakh UT administration denying the “plough” symbol to NC candidates.
The Supreme Court rejected the Ladakh administration’s appeal on the matter and also levied a Rs. 1 lakh fine on it, concluding that the NC was allowed to use its emblem.
Like the LAHDC in Leh, the LAHDC in Kargil has 30 seats.
The Ladakh Union Territory administration nominates four councillors with voting powers; however, elections are conducted for 26 seats in both councils.
In the council, 16 is the majority score.
In the 2018 elections, the PDP took home two seats, while the BJP got only one.
However, later, both PDP councillors switched over to the BJP, and with all four nominated councillors also affiliated with it, the BJP strength rose to seven.
But NC leader Feroz Ahmed Khan, who had also served as a Minister in the NC-Congress coalition government of 2008, remained Chairman-cum-Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) of the LAHDC Kargil throughout its five-year term, initially with the support of Congress and later with the help of independents and one BJP councillor.
While LAHDC Leh came into existence in 1995, LAHDC Kargil was constituted in 2003.
The periods of both councils are five years.
LAHDC Leh is being ruled by the BJP for a second consecutive term.
Both councils are headed by the Chairman-cum-CEC, who has the rank of cabinet minister of a state, while there are four executive councillors in the rank of Deputy