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Posted at: Apr 18, 2019, 7:29 AM; last updated: Apr 18, 2019, 7:29 AM (IST)

Blow to Cong, party leader to go solo from Ladakh seat

Backed by religious bodies, Haji Asgar Ali to file papers today
Blow to Cong, party leader to go solo from Ladakh seat
Haji Asgar Ali Karbalie

Our Correspondent
Jammu/Leh, April 17

In a major setback to the Congress in the Ladakh region, senior party leader and former Kargil MLA Haji Asgar Ali Karbalai on Wednesday decided to contest as an Independent for the Ladakh parliamentary seat, which is going to the polls on May 6.

He is being supported by the Imam Khomeni Memorial Trust, Kargil, a religious organisation. The Congress has fielded senior Buddhist leader and two-time Chief Executive Councillor of the Leh Council Rigzin Spalbar as the candidate for the seat. Spalbar filed his nomination on Monday.

After a series of meetings to field a ‘consensus candidate’, Imam Khomeni Memorial Trust chairman Sheikh Sadiq Rajaye on Wednesday declared Haji Asgar Ali Karbalie as their nominee for the Ladakh seat.

In a press statement, the Trust announced him as the ‘consensus candidate’ claiming to have the support of other religious organisations, including Anjuman Sofia Noor Bakshia, Kargil, and Buddhist Association, Kargil.

“We have nominated him as an Independent for the Ladakh seat. He will be filing his nomination papers on Thursday,” Rajaye said. Karabalie, however, was unavailable for comment.

Three candidates, including Congress’ Rigzin Spalbar, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and BJP president Dorje Angchuk as the covering nominee, have filed their nominations so far. Thursday is the last day for filing the papers.

On Tuesday, Kargil’s another influential religious organisation Islamia School, with the support of the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, had fielded Sajjad Hussain Kargili, a journalist and social activist as its candidate for the Ladakh seat.

During the 2014 parliamentary election, the Congress had suffered defeat from Ladakh after its rebel leader Ghulam Raza decided to contest as an Independent. Raza was defeated by BJP leader Thupstan Chhewang by a narrow margin of 36 votes.

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