The National Conference-Congress (NC) combine swept the election to the 26-member Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Kargil, bagging 22 seats, in the first ever polls held since Ladakh was carved out as a Union Territory (UT) in 2019, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to win only two seats.
NC is a part of the pan-India Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), that won 12 seats, while the Congress bagged 10 seats. The INDIA partners lost to the BJP in one of the seats where they fielded candidates against each other. Independent candidates won two seats.
The National Conference pitched the election as a referendum on the Centre’s actions during the campaigning on August 5, 2019, when Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional position was ended and the State split into two Union Territories.
NC’s Vice President’s statement
“It’s a resounding rejection of the BJP’s politics that saw J&K divided and downgraded, with our constitutionally guaranteed status abolished. The people of Kargil have shown that they do not support or agree with what was done to them on 5th August 2019,” told the National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah.
The October 4 election saw 77.61% of the 74,026 registered voters cast their ballot.
“These election results should serve as a wake-up call for the BJP. It is time to cease hiding behind the Raj Bhavan and unelected representatives and, instead, acknowledge the people’s rightful desire for a democratically elected government in J&K. Democracy demands the voices of the people be heard and respected,” he said. Mr. Abdullah expressed gratitude to the Congress leadership for its “unwavering support”.
The Congress threw its support behind the demands of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) — a local alliance fighting for Statehood and special constitutional guarantees on protecting Ladakh’s culture, land, jobs, and environment — when former party chief Rahul Gandhi toured the region.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh credited the party’s performance to Mr. Gandhi’s tour. “This is a direct impact of Rahul Gandhi continuing ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Ladakh last month,” Mr. Ramesh said.
For more latest news, click here.