JAMMU, SEP 1: The National Conference (NC), which suffered a massive defeat in the last elections, dominated the Kargil’s political scene by emerging as the single largest party by winning 10 out of 26 seats of Shia-dominated Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil while Indian National Congress (INC) party stood at number two position by winning 8 seats. Five seats were bagged by Independents while the results were equally embarrassing for both the former alliance partners as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) bagged two seats and its former partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had to satisfy itself with one seat only to open its account for the first time.
Both the NC and Congress are expected to go into an alliance to take control of the LAHDC.
Polling for 26 of the 30 seats of LAHDC was held on 27 August. The other four seats will be filled through nomination.
The BJP had made the election a prestige issue and its senior leaders campaigned in the cold desert region. This is for the first time that elections to the LAHDC were held under the Governor’s rule and BJP opened its account.
BJP had left six seats for the candidates of sitting Zanskar MLA Syed Mohammad Baqir Rizvi, and fielded its own activists on the remaining 14 seats.
Out of the 99 candidates who contested the election, 23 were from the Congress, 20 from NC, 14 from BJP, 21 from PDP and 21 were Independents.
The BJP has won the Buddhist-dominated Cha seat with a thin margin of 30 votes where Stanzin Lakpa was declared elected defeating Congress candidate Tenzin Sonam while the PDP got only two seats Shargole and Chiktan in the council.
The District Election Authority, Vikas Kundal while giving details of the election results said unprecedented and elaborate arrangements were made by the district administration for the Counting which was carried out in a peaceful and smooth manner. The five Observers appointed for monitoring the Poll Process in 26 Constituencies of LAHDC Kargil district were present during the counting process, he said, adding that they were satisfied with the arrangements made by the District Election Authority during the poll process right from the date of filing of nominations till the completion of counting.
Meanwhile, National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah have thanked the people of Kargil for reposing faith in the party.
“I express gratitude to the people of Kargil for reposing faith in National Conference in spite of the challenges party is facing. The win is a testimony to our commitment of ensuring a society where everyone is equal irrespective of caste, creed, region, religion or color,” Dr Farooq said in a statement.
He asked the elected representatives to become the agents of change to come upto the expectations of the people.
“People rejected money, instead they gave their stamp of approval for the stand NC has been espousing for all these years,” he said.
While reiterating the party’s resolve of working for the downtrodden and the poorest of the poor, Omar Abdullah said, “The electoral success in these elections for our party is very heartening and the real work begins now with people expecting more from us.” He asked all the elected councilors to work honestly without any bias.