Jammu, September 23
To perform better in elections to the Muslim-dominated Kargil’s Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), the BJP is deploying senior leaders for electioneering. The party has never been able to directly gain power in the LAHDC, Kargil, due to the strong position of the National Conference (NC).
Won’t make difference
Electioneering by BJP stalwarts is not going to make any difference. The party will not be able to spring any surprise.
Nasir Munshi, kargil congress President
This will be the first elections in Kargil after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, when two UTs — J&K and Ladakh — were carved out. The polls will be held on October 4 and counting four days later.
The NC has already entered into an alliance with the Congress under which both parties will have chairman on rotational basis for a half and two years each.
Union Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi visited Kargil on September 14 and went with some of the party candidates for filing their nominations. Along with Jamyang Tsering Namgayal, the only MP from Ladakh, Lekhi visited Drass and campaigned for the party candidates.
There are 85 candidates in the fray, including 22 of the Congress, 17 of the NC, 17 of the BJP, four of AAP and 24 independents.
BJP’s national general secretary Tarun Chugh also visited Kargil early this month and said Ladakh people were witnessing development under the BJP-led Central Government which was not visible here for decades.
Most of the BJP leaders visiting the UT are not touching the contentious issue of the Sixth chedule of Constitution which the people of both districts of Ladakh — Kargil and Leh — have been demanding for a long time.
The only national leader from the Congress who visited Kargil was Rahul Gandhi who held a public rally here. He had taken up the matter of Sixth Schedule and other demands of the locals on August 25.
The BJP also sent senior leaders of J&K to Ladakh for campaigning. Many leaders are expected to visit in coming days.
Nasir Munshi, Kargil district president of the Congress, these are local elections and campaigning by BJP stalwarts is not going to make any difference. “There is already a coalition of the NC and the Congress and the BJP will not be able to spring any surprises,” he said.
In the LAHDC-Kargil polls in 2018, the NC-Congress alliance had won 18 seats, including 10 of the NC. The PDP won two and the BJP could bag only one seat. Five seats went to independents. Four nominated councillors also supported the BJP. There are total of 30 seats including 26 elected and four nominated.
The alliance of the NC and the Congress broke in 2019 when the NC entered into a coalition with two PDP councillors and four independents. Surprisingly, both the PDP councillors joined the BJP and the latter extended support to the NC.
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